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ST. John's square. 


It is not without a grave cause, that I renew the memory of 
sorrows, mistakes, and strong and (as I think) ill-consi- 
dered measures, themselves long since past, but abiding in 
their effects. The re-awakened interest in Tract 90 within 
the Church of England, attested by its recent reprint in the 
United States and by the wish which has been felt in Eng- 
land that it should be reprinted amongst us, will justify, I 
trust, an explanation of the circumstances which occasioned 
the original prejudice entertained but too widely against it ; 
for to republish it without some such explanation, would 
be but to re-awaken those sleeping impressions about it. 
This has already been a result of its republication in the 
United States, where a paper, apparently a Church organ, 
notices the fact, only to censure Tract 90 in the terms 
formerly used about it. To myself, also, — when engaged 
upon a general defence of the Articles in my recent Eire- 
nicon, and giving the exposition of certain of them which 
had, in the main, commended itself independently, but co- 
incidently, to the Author of Tract 90, J. Keble, and myself, 
— it appeared very desirable to republish that Tract. In it, 

A 2 


the exposition which, in its main outlines, we had severally 
adopted, was put forth, for the most part, with all that 
marked precision of thought which characterized its writer. 
I say, " for the most part," on account of one purposed 
exception, which I shall come to presently. I therefore 
obtained the leave of the Author to reprint the Tract, with 
which he had himself no further concern ; but the reprint- 
ing of which, or any comments upon it, could in no way 
commit him, since he has given his own account of it in 
his Apologia \ For the following observations I alone am 
responsible, having purposely abstained from consulting 
him upon the subject. 

• Apologia, pp. 158 — 174. 


A QUARTER of a century has all but elapsed since Newman, 
in Tract 90, proposed explanations of certain of the Arti- 
cles, some of which bear upon things taught in the Roman 
Church, some, not. Various circumstances concurred to 
prevent his work being then appreciated as it deserved. 
We had all been educated in a traditional system which 
had practically imported into the Articles a good many 
principles which were not contained in them nor suggested 
by them, yet which were habitually identified with them. 
The writers of " The Tracts for the Times," as they became 
more acquainted with Antiquity and the Fathers, gradually 
and independently of one another laid these aside. Thus, 
when we learned the value of genuine tradition, we ex- 
amined the Articles, and found that Article VI., so far 
from maintaining " private judgment," or that " Scripture 
is its own interpreter," rather implied the contrary, and 
that Article XX., by asserting that "the Church hath 
authority in controversies of faith," emphatically denied 
unlimited private judgment. As we knew more of the 
authority which the CEcumenical Councils had ever had in 
the Church, we came to observe that the XXlst Article, in 
declaring that " General Councils may err, and sometimes 
have erred," implied at least that some Councils had never 
erred, such as those which had established the faith which 
the Church received. In like way, we saw that since men 


could not be justified by a dead faith, when Article XI. 
said that we were "justified by faith only,'"' it must mean, 
"justified by a living faith, i. e. a faith working by love," 
of which the Apostle speaks. We proposed no system to 
ourselves, but laid aside, piece by piece, the system of 
ultra-Protestant interpretation, which had encrusted round 
the Articles. This, doubtless, appeared in our writings 
from time to time, but the expositions to which we were 
accustomed, and which were, to our minds, the genuine 
expositions of the Articles, had never before been brought 
into one focus, as they were in Tract 90. What was to us 
perfectly natural was, to others who had not examined the 
Articles from the same point of view as ourselves, un- 
natural. They as honestly thought that the system, which 
had been imported into the Articles, really lay in them, 
as we were honestly satisfied that it did not. Only we 
had examined the Articles, in order to see whether or no 
they contradicted other truths ; they who did not believe 
those other truths, had no occasion to examine them in 
this aspect, and consequently had not so examined them. 
This was quite natural. Popular books upon the Articles, 
to which all were accustomed, which had been employed as 
text-books in reading the Articles, such as Tomline''s, or 
Burnet\s, which came in subsequently, (in our day it was 
not used, as being held to be unsound,) were on their side, 
not on ours. Only, when the time came, and our exposi- 
tions were before them, they ought, before condemning 
them, to have examined them, and that, not superfi- 
cially, or on preconceived or traditional notions about the 
Articles, but comparing them strictly and conscientiously 
with the letter of the Articles, as we had. But we had had 
an interest in so doing, to vindicate our Church from 
unsoundness as to any Catholic truth ; they had no such 
interest, and dreaded, conscientiously from their point of 
view, our daily-growing influence. 


As soon as the attack of the "Four Tutors'" made 
it apparent that the Tract was likely to be misappre- 
hended, Newman explained, that it was written solely 
against this system of interpretation, which brought mean- 
ings into the Articles, not out of them, and also why he 
wrote it at all. After stating that he thought that such 
of our Articles as were antagonistic to things taught in 
the Church of Rome, were directed against a traditional 
system in it, which went beyond the letter of its decrees, 
although it pointed their meaning, he added ^ : 

" I sliould not be honest if I did not add, that I consider our own 
Church, on the other hand, to have in it a traditionary system, as well 
as the Roman, beyond and beside the letter of its formularies, and to 
be ruled by a spirit far inferior to its own nature. And this tradi- 
tionary system, not only inculcates what I cannot conceive, but would 
exclude any difference of belief from itself. To this exclusive modern 
system, I desire to oppose myself; and it is as doing this, doubtless, 
that I am incurring the censure of the Four Gentlemen who have come 
before the public. I want certain points to be left open which they 
wouU close. I am not speaking for myself in one way or another; I 
am not examining the scripturalness, safety, propriety, or expedience 
of the points in question ; but I desire that it may not be supposed as 
utterly unlawful for such private Christians as feel they can do it with 
a clear conscience, to allow a comprecation with the Saints as Bram- 
hall does, or to hold with Andrewes that, taking away the doctrine of 
Transubstantiation from the Mass, we shall have no dispute about the 
Sacrifice ; or with Hooker to treat even Transubstantiation as an opi- 
nion which by itself need not cause separation ; or to hold with Ham- 
mond that no General Council, truly such, ever did, or shall err in any 
matter of faith ; or with Bull, that man was in a supernatural state of 
grace before the fall, by which he could attain to immortality, and 
that he has recovered it in Christ ; or with Thorndike, that works of 
humiliation and penance are requisite to render God again propitious 
to those who fall from the grace of Baptism ; or with Pearson, that the 
Name of Jesus is no otherwise given under Heaven than in the Catho- 
lic Church. 

" In thus maintaining that we have open questions, or as I have ex- 
pressed it in the Tract, 'ambiguous formularies,' I observe, first, that 
I am introducing no novelty. For instance, it is commonly said that 

' Letter to Dr. Jelf, in explanation of No. 90, &c., pp. 17—49. 


the Articles admit both Arminians and Calvinists ; the principle then 
is admitted, as indeed the Four Gentlemen, whom I have several times 
noticed, themselves observe. I do not think it a greater latitude than 
this, to admit those who hold, and those who do not hold, the points 
above specified. 

" Nor, secondly, can it be said that such an interpretation throws any 
uncertainty upon the primary and most sacred doctrines of our reli- 
gion. These are consigned to the Creed; the Articles did not define 
them ; they existed before the Articles ; they are referred to in the 
Articles as existing /acis, just as the broad Roman errors are referred 
to; but the decrees of Trent were drawn up after the Articles." 

In the same letter Newman stated, that the ground 
why he wrote the Tract at all, was to meet a wish " earnestly 
set before him by parties whom he revered *." 

*' I may be wrong in my conviction, I may be wrong in the mode I 
adopt to meet it, but still the Tract is grounded on tlie belief that the 
Articles need not be so closed as the received method of teaching 
closes them, and ought not to be for the sake of many persons. If we 
will close them, we run the risk of subjecting persons whom we should 
least like to lose or distress, to the temptation of joining the Church of 
Rome, or to the necessity of withdrawing from the Church as esta- 
blished, or to the misery of subscribing with doubt and hesitation. 
And, as to myself, I was led especially to exert myself with reference 
to this difficulty, from having had it earnestly set before me by par- 
ties I revere, to do all I could to keep members of our Church from 
straggling in the direction of Rome ; and, as not being able to pursue 
the methods commonly adopted, and as being persuaded that the view 
of tlie Articles I have taken is true and honest, I was anxious to set 
it before them. I thought it would be useful to them, without hurting 
any one else. 

" I have no wish or thought to do more than to claim an admission 
for these persons to the right of subscription. Of coui'se I should 
rejoice if the members of our Church were all of one mind; but they 
are not ; and till they are, one can but submit to what is at present 
the will, or rather the chastisement, of Px'ovidence. And let me now 
implore my brethren to submit, and not to force an agreement at the 
risk of a schism." 

There is another fact, which I will mention, as having 
been an occasion of the misconception of Tract 90, at its 

' Letter to Dr. Jelf, in explanation of No. 90, &c., pp. 28, 29. 


first appearance. In its first edition, Newman drew no 
line as to what Article XXII. rejected, and what it 
admitted of. He ever shrank from being a leader ; and 
especially he wished not to encourage young men, upon 
his own well-deserved authority, to go to the verge of 
what the Church of England did not condemn, although 
she did not sanction it. In the second edition, however, 
before any adverse opinion had been expressed, although 
not before prejudices had arisen, Newman, at the instance 
of others (partly perhaps my own), supplied this, marking 
his alterations by the brackets which have been retained in 
the present edition. 

Two circumstances precipitated men''s judgments be- 
yond recall. By an unhappy combination, two tutors, of 
the as yet undeveloped " broad " (which in some of its mem- 
bers has become the half- believing or un-believing) party, 
and two, I believe, of the Evangelical, printed a joint 
memorial to " the Editor of the Tracts for the Times," 
requesting him to make known the name of the writer of 
Tract 90. The ground of their memorial was, — 

" This publication is entitled ' Remarks on certain passages in the 
Thirty-nine Articles,' and as these Articles are appointed by the statutes 
of the University to be the text-book for Tutors in their Theological 
teaching, we hope that the situations we hold in our respective Colleges 
will secure us from the charge of presumption in thus coming for- 
ward to address you." 

"The Tract has in our apprehension a highly dangerous tendency, 
from its suggesting, that certain very important errors of the Church 
of Rome are not condemned by the Articles of the Church of England : 
for instance, that those Articles do not contain any condemnation of 
the doctrines ; 

1. Of Purgatory, 

2. Of Pardons, 

3. Of the Worshipping and Adoration of Images and Relics, 

4. Of the Invocation of Saints, 

5. Of the Mass, 

as they are taught authoritatively by the Church of Rome ; but only 
of certain absurd practices and opinions which intelligent Romanists 


repudiate as much as we do. It is intimated, moreover, that the De- 
claration prefixed to the Articles, so far as it has any weight at all, 
sanctions this mode of interpreting them, as it is one which takes them 
in their 'literal grammatical sense,' and does not 'affix any now 
senses ' to them. The Tract would thus appear to us to have a ten- 
dency to mitigate, heyond what charity requires, and to the prejudice 
of the pure truth of the Gospel, the very serious differences which 
separate the Church of Rome from our own, and to shake the con- 
fidence of the less learned members of the Church of England in the 
Scriptural character of her formularies and teaching. We readily admit 
the necessity of allowing that liberty in interpreting the formularies 
of our Church, which has been advocated by many of its most learned 
Bishops and eminent Divines; but this Tract puts forth new and 
startling views as to the extent to which that liberty may be carried. 
For if we are right in our apprehension of the author's meaning, we 
are at a loss to see what security would remain, were his principles 
generally recognized, that the most plainly erroneous doctrines of the 
Church of Rome might not be inculcated in the lecture-rooms of the 
University and from the pulpits of our Churches." 

To this Newman replied with a courtesy and humility 
vvhich, after a lapse of twenty-four years, is still touching ; 
but with the most entire and absolute contradiction' — 

"Four Gentlemen, Tutors of their respective Colleges, have pub- 
lished a protest against the Tract in question. I have no cause at all 
to complain of their so doing, though, as I shall directly say, I con- 
sider that they have misunderstood me. They do not, I trust, suppose 
that I feel any offence or soreness at their proceeding ; of course, I 
naturally think that I am right and they are wrong ; but tliis persua- 
sion is quite consistent both with my honouring their zeal for Christian 
truth and their anxiety for the welfare of our younger members, and 
with my very great consciousness that, even though I be right in my 
principle, I may have advocated truth in a wrong wa)'. Such acts 
as theirs when done honestly, as they have done them, must benefit 
all parties, and draw them nearer to each other in good will, if not in 
opinion. But to proceed to the subject of this letter. 

" I propose to offer some explanation of the Tract in two respects, — 
as to its principal statement and its object. 

" 1. These Four Gentlemen, whom. I have mentioned, have misun- 
derstood me in so material a point, that it certainly is necessary to 

• Letter to Dr. Jelf, in explanation of No. 90, &c,, pp. 1, 2. 


enter into the subject at some length. They consider that the Tract 
asserts that the Thirty-nine Articles 

"'do not contain any condemnation of the doctrines of Purgatory, 
Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration of Images and Reliques, the 
Invocation of Saints, and the Mass, as they are taught authoritatively 
by the Church of Rome, but only of certain absurd practices and opi- 
nions, which intelligent Romanists repudiate as much as we do.' 

" On the contrary I consider that they do contain a condemnation of 
the authoritative teaching of the Church of Rome on these points; I 
only say that, whereas they were written before the decrees of Trent, 
they were not directed against those decrees. The Church of Rome 
taught authoritatively before those decrees, as well as since. Those 
decrees expressed her authoritative teaching, and they will continue 
to express it, while she so teaches. The simple question is, whether 
taken by themselves in their mere letter, they express it; whether in 
fact other senses, short of the sense conveyed in the present authorita- 
tive teaching of the Roman Church, will not fulfil their letter, and may 
not even now in point of fact be held in that Church." 

It appears from the context that Newman, at that time, 
used stronger language in regard to the practical Roman 
system than most of us, I believe, whose minds were natu- 
rally less bold, ventured to employ. I mention this only as 
illustrating the strong honesty of the Tract, which to me 
it ever seemed so strange that any could have doubted. So 
little did those who wrote or spoke against us know about 
us. After again illustrating the difference between the 
Tridentine decrees and the practical system, he said once 
more *, — 

"This distinction between the words of the Tridentine divines and 
the authoritative teaching of the present Church, is made in the Tract 
itself, and would have been made in far stronger terms, had I not 
often before spoken against the actual state of the Church of Rome, or 
could I have anticipated the sensation which the appearance of the 
Tract has excited. I say, 

" 'By "the Romish doctrine" is not meant the Tridentine doctrine, 
because this article was drawn up before the decree of the Council of 
Trent. What is opposed is the received doctrine of the day, and un- 
happily of this day too, or the doctrine of the Roman Schooh.' — p. 24. 

" This doctrine of the Schools is at present, on the whole, the esta- 

* Letter to Dr. Jelf, in explanation of No. 90, &c., pp. 9, 10. 


blished creed of the Roman Church, and this I call Romanism or 
Popery, and against this I think the Thirty-nine Articles speak, I 
think they speak, not of certain accidental practices, but of a body and 
substance of divinity, and that traditionary, an existing ruling spirit 
and view in the Church." 

It would manifestly be a shocking abuse of the kindness 
which permits me to reprint Tract 90, to cite any language 
which the writer has since retracted in regard to the 
Roman Church, to which he has since submitted, as believ- 
ing it to be the one Church of God. But the occurrence 
of that language in his explanation of the Tract should have 
checked the rash judgments which were passed upon it. 
Unhappily the Heads of Houses precipitated their condem- 
nation of the Tract. A note at the close of Newman's 
" Letter to Dr. Jelf "" says, "" Since the above was in type, it 
has been told me that the Hebdomadal Board has recorded 
its opinion about the Tract." I was myself very busy at 
the time, writing with what speed I could my defence of 
Tract 90. An intimate friend, who was daily with New- 
man, tells me that Newman asked for twelve hours to 
explain himself, and was refused them. The censure of 
Tract 90 by the Heads was issued on the Monday follow- 
ing that, on which the Four Tutors had addressed their 
memoi-ial to the Editor of the Tracts. 

On Wednesday, March 10, the Vice-Chancellor laid 
before the Hebdomadal Board Tract 90, together with the 
memorial of the " Four Tutors." Two days afterwards, 
Friday, March 12, the decision on Tract 90 was passed, 
and a Committee was appointed to draw up formally the 
resolution in which (1) the " Tracts for the Times" should 
be disowned, (2) Tract 90 should be condemned, as " evad- 
ing rather than explaining the Articles." On the next 
meeting of the Hebdomadal Board, the following Monday, 
March 15, the resolution, embodying those two points 
which had been agreed upon, was issued. On the following 
day, March 16, Newman's " Letter to Dr. Jelf " appeared. 


His fuH explanation, that he did consider that the Thirty- 
nine Articles do contain a condemnation of authoritative 
teaching of the Church of Eorae, upon the very subjects 
upon which the " Four Tutors" had alleged that he sug- 
gested that they do not, was but a few hours too late. If 
the Heads had granted the respite of those few hours, which 
were needed in order to publish what, with his usual rapidity 
of execution, Newman had already in the press, it would 
have been impossible for them to condemn Tract 90 in the 
terms in which they did condemn it. For the ground of 
the censure was cut away. No one can tell how much of 
the subsequent history of the Church of England might 
not have been altered, had that respite of twelve hours 
been granted. The Hebdomadal Board had their own 
choice of time ; no one awaited their decision, for no one 
had asked for it. Even the memorial of the " Four Tutors" 
had not been addressed to them. They preferred to give 
the decision, five days (Sunday included) from the time 
when one of their own members brought the subject before 

It was precipitate. I do not mean to blame any one ; 
especially since twenty-four years have removed from this 
world so many who took part in that decision. But in the 
thought of what has been lost, what might have been, per- 
haps, saved, time but intensifies the sorrow, that those 
twelve hours were not granted. 

Whatever was the ground of this haste, so it was that, 
on the day before the explanation was to appear which 
should remove the charge of the Four Tutors, the Heads 
of Houses embodied their condemnation in one of those 
telling antitheses, which fix themselves in the minds of 
people who do not think for themselves. 

The condemnation ran, 

" Considering that it is enjoined in the statutes of this University 
(Tit. iii. s. 2, Tit. ix. s. ii. § 3, s. v. § 3) that every student shall be 


instructed and examined in the Thirty-nine Articles, and shall suh- 
scribe to them ; considering also that a Tract has recently appeared, 
dated from Oxford, and entitled ' Remarks on certain passages in the 
Thirty-nine Articles,' being No. 90 of the 'Tracts for the Times,' a 
series of anonymous publications, purporting to be written by members 
of the University, but which are in no way sanctioned by the University 
itself ; 

" Resolved, That modes of interpretation such as are suggested in 
the said Tract, evading rather than explaining the sense of the Thirty- 
nine Articles, and reconciling subscription to them with the adoption 
of errors, which they were designed to counteract, defeat the object, 
and are inconsistent with the due observance of the above-mentioned 

The significant disclaimer of the " Tracts for the Times'"' 
generally, as well as of No. 90 in particular, looks 
like the vent of a long-pent-up wish to be free of us. 
For no one could imagine that the University sanctioned 
Tracts, printed and published in London, in which it could 
find nothing to condemn by any form of law, and to which no 
one of the contributors had affixed his initials, except myself, 
and Newman (at my suggestion upon the wish of others), 
to an early Tract, which, however, he discontinued. The 
censure having been passed, and no immediate proceedings 
being then to be founded upon it, I conclude that the 
Heads never read Newman's explanation, which showed the 
injustice of the charge of " evading rather than explaining 
the sense of the Articles."" Else they would hardly have 
repeated the same charge four years afterwards. It ap- 
pears from the letter of John Keble ' (which was widely 
circulated at the time among the antagonists of Tract 90, 
although now first published), that the Heads of Houses 
knew that they were condemning the author of " The 
Christian Year," as well as Newman. John Keble had 

* I have obtained the consent of the writer to publish it, in times in 
many respects happily different, as illustrative of the mind and thoughts 
of those whom Tract 90 represented. 


eagerly avowed to them, that he had given his hearty sanc- 
tion to Tract 90, and had expressed his wish that it should 
be published. Other counsels prevailed. The car went on ; 
it mattered not over whom its wheels should pass. 

It was rumoured at the time, (for the condemned knew 
nothing of the proceedings of the condemners, except the 
results,) that the Heads of Houses were the more prompt 
in their condemnation, because, the " Tracts for the Times" 
being, with hardly any exception, anonymous, they thought 
that they might condemn the Tract without a pointed con- 
demnation of the author. If so, in this too they knew us 
not. Personally, it would not have been an added pang to 
any of us, to be himself condemned. Each would have 
preferred that it should be himself. All which any of us 
heeded was the condemnation of any of the principles or 
truths, which we held or taught, by any persons invested with 
any authority ; and this, not for our own sakes, but in view 
of the evil which would probably ensue. Nor could any 
one help knowing, of whose acute mind Tract 90 bore the 
impress. Few could doubt that the Author, whoever he 
was, must avow himself. Concealment would, in any case, 
have been un-English, and the writers, among whom the 
choice lay, were now but few. Newman's explanation in 
his letter to Jelf had been, like Tract 90, anonymous. He 
avowed himself the author on the day that the condemna- 
tion appeared, in a letter still touching for its humility. 


" Mr. Vice-Chancellor, — I write this respectfully to 
inform you, that I am the author, and have the sole respon- 
sibility of the Tract on which the Hebdomadal Board has 
just now expressed an opinion, and that I have not given 
my name hitherto, under the belief that it was desired that 
1 should not. I hope it will not surprise you if I say, that 


my opinion remains unchanged of the truth and honesty of 
the principle maintained in the Tract, and of the necessity 
of putting it forth. At the same time, I am prompted by 
my feelings to add ray deep consciousness that every thing 
I attempt might be done in a better spirit, and in a better 
way ; and, while I am sincerely sorry for the trouble and 
anxiety I have given to the members of the Board, I beg to 
return my thanks to them for an act which, even though 
founded on misapprehension, may be made as profitable to 
myself as it is religiously and charitably intended. 
" I say all this with great sincerity, 
" And am, Mr. Vice- Chancellor, 

" Your obedient Servant, 

" John Henry Newman. 

"Oriel College, March 16th." 

Yet the blow was struck, and had gone home. The 
form which the Heads chose for their condemnation of the 
Tract involved this, in his own words. That " I had been 
posted up by the marshal on the buttery-hatch of every Col- 
lege of my University after the manner of discommoned 
pastry-cooks." The whole country rang with that " evad- 
ing rather than explaining the sense of the Articles." 
"Evading" is the special object of hatred to English 
honesty. Newman has summed up the result, — " ^ I saw 
clearly that my place in the Movement was lost; public 
confidence was at an end ; my occupation was gone. It 
was simply an impossibility that I could say any thing 
henceforth to good effect, when &c." " In ^ the last words 
of my letter to the Bishop of Oxford, I thus resigned my 
own place in the Movement." 

It is a common impression, and was my own, that Tract 
90 was censured by the Heads of Houses in 1841, on ac- 

« Apologia, pp. 172, 3. ' lb. p. 175. 


count of its explanations of those Articles alone^ which bear 
upon Roman doctrine. It may have been so, since these 
subjects had been singled out by the " Four Tutors." It 
was so in the decree which was proposed to the University, 
at eight days' notice, on Feb. 13, 1845, and which was 
vetoed by the Proctors. But in an intermediate docu- 
ment, the Preamble to the test which the Heads promul- 
gated at the close of 1844, other "unsound opinions'" were 
expressly included, although not specified. It ran *, " Since 
some have wrongly interpreted those Articles of Faith and 
Religion, wherein unsound opinions, and especially the errors 
of the Romanists, are censured, in such sort that they 
seem scarcely or not at all to oppose those errors," &c. 
Since interpretations of the Articles, opposed to certain 
Roman doctrines, were especially condemned, they were of 
course not exclusively condemned. And what the Heads re- 
quired by that test was, a declaration, — "I profess that I will 
subscribe — all and each of the Articles in the sense in 
which I firmly believe that they were originally published 
and are now proposed by the University as a certain and 
undoubted test of my opinions." So that if one thought 
that the framer of Article XVII. was an Augustinian, or a 
Calvinist, or an Arminian, one must subscribe it in that 
sense, according to one's opinion as to the private opinions 
of the framers. 

The test applied to the interpretation of the Articles 
on Justification or on General Councils, as much as to 
Art. XXII. ... In each case, members of the University 
who were suspected by the authorities, (for these only were 
to subscribe it,) would have had to reject any interpretation 
of the Articles, other than that which he supposed to have 

8 The Latin of that Preamble was, " Quoniam vero articulos illos 
Fidei et Religioiiis, in qiiibus reprehenduntm- male sanK opiniones, et 
jjrtpsertim Romanensium enores, ita nonnulli perperam interpretati 
sunt, ut erroribus istis vix ant ne vix quidem adversavivideantur," &c. 



been the minds of the Framers, as indorsed by the dominant 
body in the University. 

Furthei', it appeared even from this Preamble, that 
others, besides the Author of Tract 90, were aimed at in 
the test. For it says, " since some^ &c." This was brought 
out more distinctly in the decree, proposed on Feb. 13, 
which implied moreover that we were therein opposed to 
" the true faith of the Gospel.'' The Preamble was worded : 

" Whereas it is the declared purpose of this University to maintain 
and inculcate the true faith of the Gospel, and to this end it is enjoined 
in the statutes of the University that every student shall be instructed 
and examined in the Thirty-nine Articles, and shall subscribe to them 
on various occasions [referring to the several statutes], and Avhereas in 
the 90th number of the Tracts for the Times, entitled ' Remarks on 
certain Passages in the Thirty-nine Articles,' modes of interpretation 
were suggested, and have since been advocated in other publications 
purporting to be written by Members of the University, by which sub- 
scription to the said Articles might be reconciled with the adoption of 
Roman Catholic Errors; — It is hereby declared and decreed," &c. 

Then followed the resolution of 1841 ", which was then 
to be passed as a decree of the University, had God so 

It is illustrative of the condemnation of Tract 90 by the 
Heads, that, at least in 1845, they proposed to the University 
to condemn, not its Author alone, but its defenders en masse 
(such as the late W. B. Heathcote and myself), and so 
that no special opprobrium was then intended against 
Tract 90, except as the original delinquent. 

It is clear also, that the University would not have ratified 
this condemnation of Tract 90. The names of 554 Mem- 
bers of Convocation, who thanked the Proctors for their 
veto (among whom I have discovered three only who were 
at that time what is called liberals in matters of faith) show 
that the Heads judged rightly from their own point of view, 
in not raising the question again, when they had the opportu- 
nity a few months later, for they would have been defeated. 
^ Given above in p. xiv. 


2. Tho second fact, which aggravated and fixed the 
misinterpretation of Tract 90 , was the comment put upon 
Newman's teaching in it by TV". G. Ward, the author of " The 
Ideal of the Christian Church." He had, before this, dis- 
covered, that he could not follow Newman, and had there- 
upon taken for his guide the Council of Trent. But he 
never dissociated the letter of the Council of Trent from 
that vast practical system, upon which some of its decrees 
bear, although it did not fix them. He then interpreted 
Tract 90 on the Roman side, as I defended it on the Eng- 
lish side. We both alike acted on our own responsibility. 
It appears now that Ward misinterpreted Tract 90 in two 
very serious ways ; (1) that he connected with it the claim 
to "hold all Roman doctrine," (including, apparently, the 
whole practical system, not the letter of decrees only,) 
whereas Newman has told us in his " Apologia," that ho 
did not hold Transubstantiation until he had submitted 
to the Roman Church ; (2) by the use of the very offen- 
sive word "non-natural." So then the charge brought 
against Tract 90 seemed to be borne out, in that one, who 
appeared as its interpreter, claimed to "hold all Roman 
doctrine *," which, in the popular estimation, involved the 
teaching of the whole practical Roman system in our pul- 
pits. Further, the charge of " evading the sense of the 
Articles " was apparently justified, when one who wrote 
in its defence avowed that his own interpretation was 
" non-natural." 

I was informed, many years after the condemnation of 

^ Mr. Oakeley, in his " Few Words," said, "jl do not include [among 
those who in subscribing the Articles, 'renounce no one Roman doc- 
trine'] the revered author of Tract 90, whose precise and matured view 
upon this question I do not know; and who has cer fa inly neither stated 
nor implied in the Tract, that he considers the Articles capable of this 
extreme interpretation ; although, neither (if my memory serves me, 
for I am too much pressed for time to ascertain the point) has he there 
stated or implied the reason." 

a 2 


Ward, by one who, I have understood, took a leading part 
in preparing it *, that, not the alleged misinterpretation of 
the XXXIX Articles in itself, but what the Heads thought 
" bad faith" in that interpretation, was the ground of his 
condemnation. It seemed to him consistent in the Heads 
to have proposed the degradation of Ward, and yet not 
to propose the condemnation of those who contradicted 
Articles which lay down the central truths of the Christian 
faith. The difference was, that Ward, by calling his inter- 
pretations "non-natural," suggested that they were dis- 
honest ; those others, who used " non-natural" interpreta- 
tions, did not call them so. 

There was indeed a marked difference between the feeling 
evinced by Convocation towards Newman and Ward, in 
that Ward was condemned, while those 554! members of 
Convocation thanked the Proctors for forbidding that 
hastily-prepared condemnation of Tract 90 and its de- 
fenders. Still, the unhappy word "non-natural" has 
stuck to the whole class of interpretations of the Articles, 
of which Tract 90 was the distinguished exponent. This 
appeared at a comparatively late period in Mr. jNIauricc's 
censure of myself, as though " non-natural" had been a 
term which I had myself accepted. 

While Tract 90 remained uncondemned, Newman did 
what in him lay to explain it. After its condemnation by 
the Heads of Houses, he remained silent, except in giving 
such statements to his Bishop as his Bishop wished him 
to renew in order to allay the excitement. And so his 
explanation was overlooked, and W. G. AVard's, being the 
most exasperating which could be offered, was taken as its 
exponent. In this way, for twenty-three years, Tract 90 
and its author remained under the charge of a wronc: inter- 
pretation, until, in order to vindicate me from a charge made 
by Mr. Maurice, Newman broke the silence, which in all 

9 The late Dr. Cavdwell. 


those years he had not broken for self-vindication. Ho 
is now amply vindicated ; no one, not even the most pre- 
judiced, who has read the wonderful self-analysis of his 
" Apologia," can doubt his full and entire honesty. 

But I have yet another purpose in appealing from 
England under the excitement which clouded it in 1845, to 
England, freed from that excitement in 1865. Tract 90 
was made a by- word. A work is not so easily rehabilitated 
as a man, with his visible and transparent Christian truth- 
fulness. And I do wish, for love of my friend, to see each 
shadow pass away from his work also. But further, in the 
condemnation of Tract 90, a great principle was con- 
demned, essential to the right understanding of our own 
Church as well as the Roman, and to all righteous and true 
interpretation of our Articles. 

The maxim has been insisted upon by the half-believing 
school, " Interpret the Scripture like any other book'." If 
this axiom of their school means any thing aright, it means 
this, "Do no violence to language ; do not interpret mean- 
ings into it, but draw them out of it." Probably in the 
mind of the Essayist, it meant much more, and what 
would offend Christian feeling and faith. But this is not 
the place to discuss it. Yet so much (as some of us tried 
to show at the time) was the principle of Tract 90, that 
" nothing is to be imported into any document, which does 
not lie in its words, understood in their known and full 
sense ;" which is a self-evident rule of interpretation. To 
the Articles it had been applied in the Declaration pre- 
fixed to them. Koman Catholic Divines have not unfre- 
quently asserted the same principle, as regards the Council 
of Trent. It has been often told us, that no part of the 
popular system is to be held to be " de fide," except what 
is, in terms, contained in it ; nay, I am informed by one 
whose word is of great authority, that ^7ia^ only of the Coun- 
cil of Trent is to be held to be " de fide," which is, in terms, 

' Essays and Reviews, p. 377. 


contained in canons, i. c. those propositions which are 
guarded by anathema. And yet the condemnation of 
Tract 90 involved the violation of this principle in both 
respects. The English Articles were to be held to mean 
what no grammatical construction of the words in their 
known sense could make them mean. The Articles so 
construed were to be held, under pain of being charged 
with " evading not explaining their meaning," to condemn 
the Council of Trent for what no construction of its words 
could make it mean. 

Before I conclude, I would remind any reader, that this 
distinction between the decrees of Trent and the practical 
Roman system did not originate with Newman. It is re- 
markable how, when Roman controversy was still unfamiliar 
and almost asleep, this point was brought out by the acute 
mind of him, our revered teacher, to whom both of us were 
so much indebted, Bishop Lloyd. Newman observed in that 
same Letter to Jelf * : — 

" The distinction I have been making is familiar with our 
controversialists. Dr. Lloyd, the late Bishop of Oxford, whose 
memory both you and myself hold in affection and veneration, 
brings it out strongly in a review which he wrote in the British 
Critic in 1825. Nay, he goes further than any thing I have 
said on one point, for he thinks the Eoman Catholics are not 
what tbey once were, at least, among ourselves. I pro- 
nounce no opinion on this point ; nor do I feel able to follow 
his revered guidance in some other things which he says, 
but I quote him in proof that the Reformers did not aim at 
decrees or abstract dogmas, but against a living system, and a 
system which it is quite possible to separate from the formal 
statements which have served to represent it. 

'Happy was it,' he says, 'for the Protestant controversialist, when 
his own eyes and ears could bear witness to the doctrine of Papal 
satisfactions and meritorious works, when he could point to the be- 
nighted wanderer, working his way to the shrine of our Lady of Wal- 

* Letter to Dr. Jelf, in explanation of No. 90, &c., pp. 10 — 14. 


singham or Ipswicli, and hear him confess with his own mouth, that 
lie trusted to such works for the expiation of his sins ; or when every 
eye could behold "our churches full of images, wondrously decked 
and adorned, garlands and coronets set on their heads, precious pearls 
hanging about their necks, their fingers shining with rings, set with 
precious stones; their dead and still bodies clothed with garments 
stiff with gold." ' — Horn. 3, ag. Idol. p. 97. 

" On the other hand he says : 

• Our full belief is that the Roman Catholics of the United King- 
dom, from their long residence among Protestants, their disuse of 
processions and other Romish ceremonies, have been brought gra- 
dually and almost unknowingly to a more spiritual religion and a 
purer faith, — that they themselves see with sorrow the disgraceful 
tenets and principles that were professed and carried into practice by 
their forefathers, — and are too fond of removing this disgrace from 
them, by denying the former existence of these tenets, and ascribing 
the imputation of them to the calumnies of the Protestants. This wc 
cannot allow ; and while we cherish the hope that they are now gone 
for ever, we still assert boldly and fearlessly that they did once 
exist.' — p. 148. 

" Again : 

* That latria is due only to the Trinity, is continually asserted in the 
Councils ; but the terms of dulia and hyperdulia have not been adopted 
or acknowledged by them in their public documents ; they are, however, 
employed unanimously by all the best writers of the Romish Church, and 
their use is maintained and defended by them.' — p. 101. 

" I conceive that what * all the best writers ' say, is authori- 
tative teaching, and a sufficient object for the censures con- 
veyed in the Articles, though the decrees of Trent, taken by 
themselves, remain untouched. 

'This part of the enquiry' [to define exactly the acts peculiar to 
the different species of worship] 'however is more theoretical than 
useful ; and, as every thing that can be said on it must be derived, 
not from Councils, but from Doctors of the Romish Church, whose 
authority would be called in question, it is not worth while to enter 
upon it now. And therefore, observing only that the Catechism of 
Trent still retains the term of adoratio angelorum, we pass on, &c.' 
—p. 102. 

" Again : 

'On the question whether the Invocation of Saints, professed and 
practised by the Church of Rome, is idolatrous or not, our opinion is this ; 


that in the public formularies of their Church, and even in the belief 
and practice of the best informed among them, there is nothing of 
idolatry, although, as we have said, we deem that practice altogether 
unscriptural and unwarranted; but we do consider the principles re- 
lating to the worship of the Virgin calculated to lead in the end to 
positive idolatry ; and we are well convinced, and we have strong 
grounds for our conviction, that a large portion of the lower classes 
are in this point guilty of it. Whether the Invocation of Angels or of 
Saints has produced the same effect, we are not able to decide.' — p. 113. 

*' I accept this statement entirely with a single explanation. 
By ' principles ' relating to the worship of the Blessed Virgin, 
I understand either the received principles as distinct from 
those laid down in the Tridentine statements ; or the principles 
contained in those statements, viewed as ^practically operating 
on the existing feelings of the Church. 

" Again : 

' She [the Church of England] is unwilling to fix upon tlie priti- 
ciples of the Romish Church the charge of positive idolatry; and con- 
tents herself with declaring that "the Romish doctrine concerning the 
Adoration as well of Images as of Relics, is a fond thing, &c. &c." 
But in regard to the universal practice of the Romish Church, she 
adheres to the declaration of her Homilies ; and professes her con- 
viction that this fond and unwarranted and unscriptural doctrine has 
at all times produced, and will hereafter, as long as it is suiFered to 
prevail, produce the sin of^rac^icaHdolatry.' — p. 121. 

" I will add my belief that the only thing which can stop 
this tendency in the deci-ees of Rome, as things are, is its 
making some formal declaration the other way. 

" Once more : 

'We reject the second [Indulgences], not only because they are 
altogether unwarranted by any word of Holy Writ, and contrary to 
every principle of reason, but because we conceive the foundatiojis on 
which they rest to be, in the highest degree, blasphemous and absurd. 
These principles are, 1. That the power of the Pope, great as it is, does 
not properly extend beyond the limits of this present world ; 2. That 
the power which he possesses of releasing souls from Purgatory arises 
out of the treasure committed to his care, a treasure consisting of the 
supererogatory merits of our blessed Saviour, the Virgin, and the Saints 

This is the treasure of which Pope Leo, in his Bull of the 

present year, 1825, speaks in the following terms : " We have re- 
solved, in virtue of the authority given to us by Heaven, fully to 
unlock that sacred treasure, composed of the merits, sufferings, and 


virtues of Christ our Lord, and of His Virgin Mother, and of all the 
Saints, which the Author of human salvation has entrusted to our dis- 
pensation." ' — p. 1 13. 

" This is what our Article means by Pardons ; but it is more 
than is said in the Council of Trent." 

Our friend noticed further the same distinction in the 
controversial writings of Bramhall, Bull, and Wake*: — 

" And Bramhall : 

' A comprecation [with the Saints] both the Grecians and we do 
allow; an ultimate invocation both the Grecians and we detest; so do 
the Church of Rome in their doctrine, but they vary from it in their 
practice.' — Works, p. 418. 

"And Bull: 

'This Article [the Tridentine] of a Purgatory after this life, as it 
is understood and taught by the Roman Church {that is, to be a place 
and state of misery and torment, whereunto many faithful souls go 
presently after death, and there remain till they are thoroughly purged 
from their dross, or delivered Ihence by Masses, Indulgences, &c.), is 
contrary to Scripture, and the sense of the Catholic Church for at least 
the first four Centuries, &c.'— Corrupt, of Rome, § 3. 

« And Wake : 

' The Council of Trent has spoken so uncertainly in this point [of 
Merits] as plainly shows that they in this did not know themselves, 
what they would establish, or were imwilling that others should.'" — 
Def. of Expos. 5. 

For myself, I did not hear any thing about Tract 90, 
until the excitement about it in the University brought it 
to my knowledge. I read it with some anxiety, on account 
of the greatness of that excitement. Having read it, I was in 
my turn surprised at the excitement. The general principle, 
that the Articles were directed, not against the Council of 
Trent, but against the popular system, had long been fami- 
liar to my mind. Until I saw this, I never could under- 
stand the antithesis of Article XIX.* I had seen that no 
Article in any way contravened any Catholic truth, or con- 
tradicted any thing received as truth in the primitive 

* Letter to Dr. Jelf, in exiJlanation of No, 90, &c., pp. 1 i, 1.'). 

* See my Eirenicon, p. 33. 


Church. The one doubt which I had in regard to Tract 
90, related to a certain vagueness as to the object of 
Article XXII., which was almost the exclusive ground of 
the attack of the Four Tutors. That doubt my friend 
satisfied in the second edition, as he would have satisfied 
the Four Tutors, had they inquired instead of or before 

It has been a strange Nemesis (to use men's favourite 
word for Divine retribution) that, of the Four Tutors who 
originated the attack upon Tract 90, and who procured its 
condemnation, its author unheard, one, Rev. H. B. Wilson, 
was formally declared by Dr. Lushington, in his judgment, 
to have "suggested modes by which the Articles sub- 
scribed may be evaded contrary to the king's declaration 
and the terms of subscription ^" And this, not as to 

7 " In the passage recited from Mr. Wilson's Essay, first come cer- 
tain observations upon the Statute of Elizabeth, which Mr. Wilson 
declares will not be easily brought to bear upon questions likely to 
be raised in our own days. ' The meshes are too open for modern 
refinements.' The passage then proceeds as follows : 

" ' Forms of expression, — partly derived from modern modes of 
thought on metaphysical subjects, partly suggested by a better ac- 
quaintance than heretofore with the unsettled state of Christian opi- 
nion in the immediately post Apostolical age, — may be adopted with 
respect to the doctrines in the first five Articles without directly con- 
tradicting, impugning, or refusing assent to them, but passing by the 
side of them — as with respect to the humanifying of the Divine Word 
and to the Divine personalities.' 

" What is meant by 'passing by the side of the first five Articles, and 
as to the humanifying of the Divine Word and the Divine persona- 
lities without directly contradicting, impugning, or refusing a pai-t to 
them ? ' The Clergy are bound by the King's Declaration to take the 
Articles in their literal and grammatical sense ; the first five Articles 
are the most important of all. Is it consistent with their literal and 
grammatical sense to pass by them ? I think not. Is it consistent 
with the declaration that they are agreeable to the Word of God ? if 
so, why pass by ? Is it consistent with the declaration of the cleric, 
* I do willingly and ex animo subscribe to the tlu-ee Articles of the 
3Gth Canon (one of which includes the Thirty-nine Articles of Reli- 
gion), and to all things which are contained in them?' I think not. 


Articles (such as Article XXII.) drawn up in general 
terms, but as to Articles framed with great dogmatic pre- 
cision ; the five first, which relate to the Holy Trinity and 
the Incarnation. Whether he was punishable for this, Dr. 
Lushington left open ^, since the indictment had been laid 
amiss. In the final Court of Appeal, Mr. Wilson, who had 
charged Newman with explaining away Article XXII. {in- 
fer alia) on the subject of Purgatory, defended his own sug- 
gestion of the denial of eternal punishment, by affixing a 
non-natural sense to his own words, and declaring that he 
did not deny eternal punishment, but only spoke of a sort of 
purgatory for a middle class of souls. His former colleague 
in his attack upon Tract 90, now one of his judges, acquitted 
him, it is not known on what ground, whether as accepting 
his own virtual recantation and the non-natural sense of 

And yet according to Mr. Wilson, the clerk is to pass by these Articles 
without directly contradicting, impugning, or refusing assent to them. 
In my opinion this is not possible. I think that the substance of what 
Mr. Wilson has written is this : to suggest modes by which the Articles 
subscribed may be evaded, contrary to the King's Declaration and the 
terms of subscription." — Dr. Lushington' s Judgment on Essays and Re- 
views, p. 39. 

8 "I have not now to decide whether the publication of such words 
by Mr. Wilson is blamable or not, nor even whether it may not be 
an offence in some way punishable ; but whether the offence charged 
in this Article is a violation of this particular Canon, the 3Gth. To 
this question, and this only, must I address myself, for it is the only 
chai-ge preferred. — What, then, is the offence struck at by the Canon ? 
Clearly the omission by the clerk to subscribe previous to his admis- 
sion to the Ministry, and the omission by those in authority to see that 
he does so subscribe. The short question therefore is, whether a clerk 
who has himself subscribed to the three Articles of the Canon, has, 
by counselling others that they may subscribe them in a sense not 
consonant either to the King's Declaration or the Articles themselves, 
committed an Ecclesiastical offence against this particular Canon ; I 
say, against this particular Canon, not whether he has committed an 
offence otherwise punishable. 

" I cannot come to the conclusion in the affirmative ; the offence 
struck at by the Canon being of a totally different character. I must 
reject this Article." — Dr. Ltishing ton's Judgment on Essays and Re- 
views, p. 40. 


his words (as the Archbishops did and could not help 
doing), or, as was commonly believed, by coinciding with 
the lay judges in putting a non-natural sense on the word 
" everlasting." Such has been the comment of time upon 
the attack of two out of the four assailants of Tract 90. 

And now, I would ask people, with English honesty of 
judgment, not to look whether the explanations of the 
Articles in Tract 90 are what they would have given them- 
selves or would give (some are not what I should have 
given myself) ; but whether they are contradictory to the 
grammatical meaning of the Articles. It seems self- 
evident, that a teaching referred to in the terms, " in the 
which it was commonly said," cannot be the formal, care- 
fully-worded teaching of Canons, but was a popular teach- 
ing ; and that " the Romish doctrine " could not mean, e. g. 
any primitive doctrine on any of these subjects, nor the 

For myself, I believe that Tract 90 did a great work in 
clearing the Articles from the glosses, which, like barnacles, 
had encrusted round them. I believe that that work will 
never be undone, while the Articles shall last. Men will 
gloss them as they did before, according to their pre- 
conceived opinions, or as guided by the Puritan system of 
belief; but they cannot do so undisputed. Even the Four 
Tutors, in their censure upon Tract 90, seem to have been 
half conscious of the force of the appeal to " the literal 
and grammatical interpretation."" So long as that interpre- 
tation shall be applied, it will be impossible either to con- 
demn Tract 90, or to import into the Articles the tra- 
ditional system, so long identified with them. 

E. B. P. 

Advent, 1865. 

No. 90.^ 



[The corrections in the Second Edition are put in brackets,] 



Introduction . 2 

§ 1. Articles vi. & xx. — Holy Scripture, and the Authority of 

the Cluirch 5 

§ 2. Article xi. — Justification by Faith only . . . .12 
§ 3. Articles xii. & xiii. — Works before and after Justification 14 
§ 4. Article xix. — The Visible Church . . . . .17 
§ 5. Article xxi. — General Councils . . . . -SI 
§ 6. Article xxii. — Purgatory, Pardons, Images, Relics, Invo- 
cation of Saints 22 

§ 7. Article xxv. — The Sacraments . , . . .45 

§ 8. Article xxviii. — Transubstantiation . . . .49 

§ 9. Article xxxi. — Masses Gl 

§ 10. Article xxxii. — Marriage of Clergy . . . .07 

§11. Article XXXV. — The Homilies . . . . . . C9 

§ 12. Article xxxvii.— The Bishop of Rome . . . .80 

Conclusion . » 83 


It is often urged, and sometimes felfc and granted, that 
there are in the Articles propositions or terms inconsistent 
with the Catholic faith ; or, at least, when persons do not 
go so far as to feel the objection as of force, they are per- 
plexed how best to reply to it, or how most simply to ex- 
plain the passages on which it is made to rest. The follow- 
ing Tract is drawn up with the view of showing how 
groundless the objection is, and further of approximating 
towards the argumentative answer to it, of which most men 
have an implicit appi'ehension, though they may have 
nothing more. That there are real difficulties to a Catholic 
Christian in the Ecclesiastical position of our Church at 
this day, no one can deny ; but the statements of the 
Articles ai-e not in the number ; and it may be right at the 
present moment to insist upon this. If in any quarter it 
is supposed that persons who profess to be disciples of the 
early Church will silently concur with those of very opposite 
sentiments in furthering a relaxation of subscriptions, which, 
it is imagined, are galling to both parties, though for 
different reasons, and that they will do this against the wish 
of the great body of the Church, the writer of the following 
pages would raise one voice, at least, in protest against any 
such anticipation. Even in such points as he may think the 
English Church deficient, never can he, without a great 
alteration of sentiment, be party to forcing the opinion or 
project of one school upon another. Eeligious changes, to 
be beneficial, should be the act of the whole body; they 
are worth little if they are the mere act of a majority \ No 

' This is not meant to hinder acts of Catliolic consent, such as 

introduction. 3 

good can come of any change which is not heartfelt, a 
development of feelings springing up freely and calmly within 
the bosom of the whole body itself. Lloreover, a change 
in theological teaching involves either the commission or the 
confession of sin; it is either the profession or renunciation 
of erroneous doctrine, and if it does not succeed in proving 
the fact of past guilt, it, ipso fado^ implies present. In 
other words, every change in religion carries with it its own 
condemnation, which is not attended by deep repentance. 
Even supposing then that any changes in contemplation, 
whatever they were, were good in themselves, they would 
cease to be good to a Church, in which they were the fruits 
not of the quiet conviction of all, but of the agitation, or 
tyranny, or intrigue of a few ; nurtured not in mutual love, 
but in strife and envying ; perfected not in humiliation and 
grief, but in pride, elation, and triumph. Moreover, it is a 
very serious truth, that persons and bodies who put them- 
selves into a disadvantageous state, cannot at their pleasure 
extricate themselves from it. They are unworthy of it; 
they are in prison, and Christ is the keeper. There is but 
one way towards a real reformation, — a return to Him in 
heart and spirit, whose sacred truth they have betrayed ; all 
other methods, however fair they may promise, will prove 
to be but shadows and failures. 

On these grounds, were there no others, the present 
writer, for one, will be no party to the ordinary political 
methods by which professed reforms are carried or com- 
passed in this day. We can do nothing well till we act " with 
one accord;" we can have no accord in action till we agree 
together in heart ; we cannot agree without a supernatural 
influence ; we cannot have a supernatural influence unless 
we pray for it ; we cannot pray acceptably without repent- 
ance and confession. Our Churclfs strength would be 
irresistible, humanly speaking, were it but at unity with 
itself: if it remains divided, part against part, we shall see 

occurred anciently, when the Catholic body aids one portion of a par- 
ticular Church against another portion. 

B 2 

4 Introduction. 

the energy which was meant to subdue the world preying 
upon itself, according to our Saviour's express assurance, 
that such a house " cannot stand." Till we feel this, till we 
seek one another as brethren, not lightly throwing aside our 
private opinions, which we seem to feel we have received 
from above, from an ill-regulated, untrue desire of unity, but 
returning to each other in heart, and coming together to 
God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, no 
change can be for the better. Till [we] [her children] are 
stirred up to this religious course, let the Church^, [our 
Mother,] sit still ; let [us] be content to be in bondage ; 
let [us] work in chains ; let [us] submit to [our] imper- 
fections as a punishment ; let [us] go on teaching [through 
the medium of indeterminate statements ^] and inconsistent 
precedents, and principles but partially developed. We are 
not better than our fathers ; let us bear to be what Ham- 
mond was, or Andrews, or Hooker ; let us not faint under 
that body of death, which they bore about in patience; 
nor shrink from the penalty of sins, which they inherited 
from the age before them *. 

But these remarks are beyond our present scope, which 
is merely to show that, while our Prayer Book is acknow- 
ledged on all hands to be of Catholic origin, our Articles 
also, the offspring of an uncatholic age, are, through God's 
good providence, to say the least, not uncatholic, and may 

^ " Let the Church sit still ; let her be content to be in bondage," 
&c. — 1st edition. [The author has lately heard that these words have 
been taken as spoken in an insulting and reproachful tone ; he meant 
them in the sense of the lines in the Lyra Apostolica, — 
" Bide thou thy time ! 
Watch with meek eyes the race of pride and crime: 
Sit in the gatj and be the heathen's jest, 
Smiling and self-possest," &c. — 3rd edition.] 
' "With the stammering lips." — 1st edition. 

* " We, Thy sinful creatures," says the Service for King Charles the 
Martyr, " here assembled before Thee, do, in behalf of all the people 
of this land, humbly confess, that they were the crying sins of this 
nation, which brought down this judgment upon us," i. e. King 
Ciiarlcs's murder. 

Holy Scriptiire and the Authority of the Church. 5 

be subscribed by those who aim at being catholic in heart 
and doctrine. In entering upon the proposed examination, 
it is only necessary to add, that in several places the writer 
has found it convenient to express himself in language 
recently used, which he is wilHng altogether to make his 
own*. He has distinguished the passages introduced by 
quotation marks. 

§ '[.—Holy Scripture and the Authority of the Church. 

Articles vi. & xx. — " Holy Scripture containeth all things 
necessary to salvation ; so that whatsoever is not read 
therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of 
any man, that it should be believed as an article of the 
Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. 

The Church hath [power to decree (statuendi) 

rites and ceremonies, and] authority in controversies of 
faith ; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to [ordain 
(institucre) any thing that is contrary to God's word written, 
neither may it] so expound one place of Scripture, that it be 
repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be 
a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet [as it ought not 
to decree (decernere) any thing against the same, so] besides 
the same, ought it not to enforce (obtrudere) any thing to 
be believed for necessity of salvation ^'" 

Two instruments of Christian teaching are spoken of in 
these Articles, Holy Scripture and the Church. 

Here then we have to inquire, first, what is meant by 
Holy Scripture ; next, what is meant by the Church ; and 
then, what their respective offices are in teaching revealed 
truth, and how these are adjusted with one another in their 
actual exercise. 

* [The passages quoted are the author's own writing on other 

* The passages in brackets (all) relate to rites and ceremonies which 
are not here in question. [From brackets marking the Second Edition, 
must be excepted those which occur in quotations.] 

G Holy Scripture and tTie Authority of the Church. 

1 . Now what the Church is, will be considered below in 
Section 4. 

2. And the Books of Holy Scripture are enumerated in 
the latter part of the Article, so as to preclude question. 
Still two points deserve notice here. 

First, the Scriptures or Canonical Books are said to be 
those " of whose authority was never any doubt in the 
Church." Here it is not meant that there never was any 
doubt in portions of the Church or particular Churches 
"concerning certain books, which the Article includes in the 
Canon ; for some of them, — as, for instance, the Epistle to 
the Hebrews and the Apocalypse — have been the subject of 
much doubt in the West or East, as the case may be. But 
the Article asserts that there has been no doubt about them 
in the Church Catholic ; that is, at the very first time that 
the Catholic or whole Church had the opportunity of form- 
ing a judgment on the subject, it pronounced in favour of 
the Canonical Books. The Epistle to the Hebrews was 
doubted by the West, and the Apocalypse by the East, 
only while those portions of the Church investigated sepa- 
rately from each other, only till they compared notes, inter- 
changed sentiments, and formed a united judgment. The 
phrase must mean this, because, from the nature of the case, 
it can mean nothing else. 

And next, be it observed, that the books which are com- 
monly called Apocrypha, are not asserted in this Article to 
be destitute of inspiration or to be simply human, but to be 
not Canonical ; in other words, to differ from Canonical 
Scripture, specially in this respect, viz. that they are not 
adducible in proof of doctrine. " The other books (as 
Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life 
and instruction of manners, but yet doth not apply them to 
establish any doctrine.''' That this is the limit to which our 
disparagement of them extends, is plain, not only because 
the Article mentions nothing beyond it, but also from the 
jeverential manner in which the Homilies speak of them, as 
shall be incidentally shown in Section 11. [The compatibility 
of such reverence with such disparagement is also shown 

Holi/ Scripture and ilie Authority of the Church. 7 

from the feeling towards them of St. Jerome, who is quoted 
in the Article, who implies more or less their inferiority to 
Canonical Scripture, yet uses them freely and continually, 
as if Scripture. He distinctly names many of the books 
which he considers not canonical, and virtually names them 
all by naming what are canonical. For instance, he lays, 
speaking of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, " As the Church 
reads Judith, Tobit, and the Maccabees, without receiving 
them among the Canonical Scriptures, so she reads these 
two books for the edification of the people, not for the 
confirmation of the authority of ecclesiastical doctrines."" 
{Prcef. in Lihr. Salom.) Again, " The Wisdom, as it is 
commonly styled, of Solomon, and the book of Jesus son of 
Sirach, and Judith, and Tobias, and the Shepherd, are not 
in the Canon." {Prcef. ad Beges.) Such is the language 
of a writer who nevertheless is, to say the least, not wanting 
in reverence towards the books he thus disparages.] 

A further question may be asked, concerning our received 
version of the Scriptures, whether it is in any sense imposed 
on us as a true comment on the original text ; as the Vulgate 
is upon the Roman Catholics. It would appear not. It 
was made and authorized by royal command, which cannot 
be supposed to have any claim upon our interior consent. 
At the same time every one who reads it in the Services of 
the Church, does, of course, thereby imply that he considers 
that it contains no deadly heresy or dangerous mistake. 
And about its simplicity, majesty, gravity, harmony, and 
venerableness, there can be but one opinion. 

8. Next we come to the main point, the adjustment 
which this Article effects between the respective offices of 
the Scripture and Church ; which seems to be as follows. 

It is laid down that, 1 . Scripture contains all necessary 
articles of the faith ; 2. cither in its text, or by inference 
3. The Church is the keeper of Scripture ; 4. and a witness 
of it ; 5. and has authority in controversies of faith ; 6. but 
may not expound one passage of Scripture to contradict 
another ; 7. nor enforce as an article of faith any point not 
contained in Scripture. 

8 Holy Scripture and the Authority of the Church. 

From this it appears, first, that the Church expounds and 
enforces the faith ; for it is forbidden to expound in a parti- 
cular way, or so to enforce as to obtrude ; next, that it 
derives the faith wholly from Scripture ; thirdly, that its 
office is to educe an harmonious interpretation of Scripture. 
Thus much the Article settles. 

Two important questions, however, it does not settle, viz. 
whether the Church judges, first, at her sole discretion; 
next, on her sole responsibility; i.e. first, what the media 
are by which the Church interprets Scripture, whether by a 
direct divine gift, or catholic tradition, or critical exegesis 
of the text, or in any other way ; and next, who is to decide 
whether it interprets Scripture rightly or not ; — what is her 
method, if any ; and who is her judge, if any. In other 
words, not a word is said, on the one hand, in favour of 
Scripture having no rule or method to fix interpretation by, 
or, as it is commonly expressed, heing the sole rule of faith ; 
nor on the other, of the private judgment of the individual 
being the ultimate standard of interpretation. So much 
has been said lately on both these points, and indeed on the 
whole subject of these two Articles, that it is unnecessary 
to enlarge upon them ; but "since it is often supposed to be 
almost a first principle of our Church, that Scripture is " the 
rule of faith," it may be v/ell, before passing on, to make an 
extract from a paper, published some years since, which 
shows, by instances from our divines, that the application of 
the phrase to Scripture is but of recent adoption. The 
other question, about the ultimate judge of the interpreta- 
tion of Scripture, shall not be entered upon. 

" We may dispense with the phrase ' Rule of Faith," as 
applied to Scripture, on the ground of its being ambiguous ; 
and, again, because it is then used in a novel sense ; for the 
ancient Church made the Apostolic Tradition, as summed 
up in the Creed, and not the Bible, the Begula Fidei, or 
Rule. Moreover, its use as a technical phrase, seems to be 
of late introduction in the Church, that is, since the days 
of King William the Third. Our great divines use it with- 
out any fixed sense, sometimes for Scripture, sometimes for 

holt/ Scripture and the AxiiliorUy of the Church. 9 

the whole and perfectly adjusted Christian doctrine, some- 
times for the Creed ; and at the risk of being tedious, we 
will prove this, by quotations, that the point may be put 
beyond dispute. 

" Ussher, after St. Austin, identifies it with the Creed ; 
— when speaking of the Article of our Lord's Descent to 
Hell, he says, — 

"'It having here likewise been further manifested, what different 
opinions have been entertained by the ancient Doctors of the Church, 
concerning the determinate place wherein our Saviour's soul did re- 
main during the time of the separation of it from the body, I leave it 
to be considered by the learned, whether any such controverted matter 
may fitly be brought in to expound the Rule of Faith, which, being 
common both to the great and small ones of the Church, must contain 
such varieties only as are generally agreed upon by the common con- 
sent of all true Christians.' — Answer to a Jesuit, p. 362. 

" Taylor speaks to the same purpose : ' Let us see with 
what constancy that and the following ages of the Church 
did adhere to the Apostles' Creed, as the sufficient and 
perfect Rule of Faith.'' — Dissuasive, part 2, i. 4, p. 470. 
Elsewhere he calls Scripture the Rule : ' That the Scripture 
is a full and sufficient Rule to Christians in faith and 
manners, a full and perfect declaration of the Will of God, 
is therefore certain, because we have no other.'' — Ibid, part 
2, i. 2, p. 884. Elsewhere, Scripture and the Creed : ' He 
hath, by His wise Providence, preserved the plain places of 
Scripture and the Apostles' Creed, in all Churches, to be 
the Rule and Measure of Faith, by which all Churches are 
saved.' — Ibid, part 2, i. 1, p. 346. Elsewhere he identifies 
it with Scripture, the Creeds, and the first four Councils : 
' We also [after Scripture] do believe the Apostles' Creed, 
the Nicene, with the additions of Constantinople, and that 
which is commonly called the symbol of St. Athanasius; 
and the four first General Councils are so entirely admitted 
by us. that they, together with the plain words of Scripture, 
are made the Rule and Measure of judging heresies among 
us.' — Ibid, part 1, i. p. 131. 

*' Laud calls the Creed, or rather the Creed with Scrip- 

10 Holy Scripture and the AuihoriUj of the Church. 

ture, the Rule. ' Since the Fathers make the Creed the 
Iluh of Faith ; since the agreeing sense of Scripture with 
those Articles are the Tico Begular Precepts, by which a 
divine is governed about his faith,' &c. — Conference iciih 
Fisher, p. 42. 

" Bramhall also : ' The Scripture and the Creed are not 
two different Rules of Faith, but one and the same liule, 
dilated in Scripture, contracted in the Creed.' — Worh, p. 
402. Stillingfleet says the same {Grounds, i, 4. 3.) ; as 
does Thorndike {De Rat. fin. Controv. p. 144, &c.). Else- 
where, Stillingfleet calls Scripture the Rule {Ibid. i. 6. 2.) ; 
as does Jackson (vol. i. p. 226). But the most complete 
and decisive statement on the subject is contained in Field's 
work on the Church, from which shall follow a long extract. 

" * It remained to show,' he says, ' what is the Rule of that judgment 
whereby the Church discerneth between truth and falsehood, the faith 
and heresy, and to whom it pi-operly pertaineth to interpret those 
things which, touching this Rule, are doubtful. The Rule of our Faith 
in general, whereby we know it to be true, is the infinite excellency 

of God It being pre-supposed in the generality that the doctrine 

of the Christian faith is of God, and containeth nothing but heavenly 
truth, in the next place, we are to inquire by what Rule we are to 
judge of particular things contained within the compass of it. 

" ' This Rule is, 1. The summary comprehension of such principal 
articles of this divine knowledge, as are the principles whence all other 
things are concluded and inferred. These are contained in the Creed 
of the Apostles. 

" ' 2. All such things as every Christian is bound expressly to be- 
lieve, by the light and direction whereof he judgeth of other things, 
which are not absolutely necessary so particularly to be known. These 
are rightly said to be the Rule of our Faith, because the principles of 
every science are the Rule whereby we judge of the truth of all things, 
as being better and more generally known than any other thing, and 
the cause of knowing them. 

" ' 3. Tlie analogy, due proportion, and correspondence, that one 
thing in this divine knowledge hath with another, so that men cannot 
err in one of them without erring in another; nor rightly iniderstand 
one, but they must likewise rightly conceive the rest. 

•"4. Whatsoever Books were delivered unto us, as written by 
them, to whom the first and immediate revelation of the divine truth 
was made. 

Holy Scripture and the Authority of the Church. 11 

"'5. Whatsoever hath been delivered by all the saints with ono 
consent, which have left thcii- judgment and opinion in writing. 

" * 6. Whatsoever the most famous have constantly and uniformly 
delivered, as a matter of faith, no one contradicting, though many 
other ecclesiastical writers be silent, and say nothing of it. 

" * 7. That which the most, and most famous in every age, con- 
stantly delivered as a matter of faith, and as received of them that 
went before them, in such sort that the contradictors and gainsayers 
were in their beginnings noted for singularity, novelty, and division, 
and afterwards, in process of time, if they persisted in such contra- 
diction, chai-ged with heresy. 

" * These three latter Rules of our Faith we admit, not because they 
are equal with the former, and originally in themselves contain the 
dii-ection of our Faith, but because nothing can be delivered, with 
such and so full consent of the people of God, as in them is ex- 
pressed, but it must need be from those first authors and founders of 
our Christian profession. The Romanists add unto these the decrees 
of Councils and determination of Popes, making these also to be the 
Rules of Faith ; but because we have no proof of their infallibility, we 
number them not with the rest. 

** ' Thus we see how many things, in several degrees and sorts, are 
said to be Rules of our Faith. The infinite excellency of God, as that 
whereby the truth of the heavenly doctrine js proved. The Articles 
of Faith, and other verities ever expressly known in the Church as the 
first principles, are the Canon by which we judge of conclusions from 
thence inferred. The Scripture, as containing in it all that doctrine 
of Faith which Christ the Son of God delivered. The uniform prac- 
tice and consenting judgment of them that went before us, as a certain 
and undoubted explication of the things contained in the Scripture. 
.... So then, we do not maJce Scripture the Rule of our Faith, hut that 
other things in their kind are Rules likewise ; in such sort that it is not 
safe, withoid respect had unto them, to judge things by the Scripture 
alone,' &c.— iv. 14. pp. 364, 365. 

" These extracts show not only what the Anglican doc- 
trine is, but, in particular, that the phrase ' Rule of Faith ' 
is no symbolical expression with us, appropriated to some 
one sense ; certainly not as a definition or attribute of Holy 
Scripture. And it is important to insist upon this, from 
the very great misconceptions to which the phi-ase gives 
rise. Perhaps its use had better be avoided altogether. In 
the sense in which it is commonly understood at this day, 

12 Justification hy Faith only. 

Scripture, it is plain, is not, on Anglican principles, the 
Rule of Faith." 

§ 2. — Justification hy Faith only. 

Article xi. — " That we are justified by Faith only, is a 
most wholesome doctrine.'^ 

The Homilies add that Faith is the sole means, the sole 
instrument of justification. Now, to show briefly what such 
statements imply, and what they do not. 

1 . They do not imply a denial of Baptism as a means and 
an instrument of justification ; which the Homilies else- 
where affirm, as will be shown incidentally in a later 

" The instrumental power of Faith cannot interfere with 
the instrumental power of Baptism ; because Faith is the 
sole justifier, not in contrast to all means and agencies 
whatever, (for it is not surely in contrast to our Lord's 
merits, or God's mercy,) but to all other graces. When, 
then, Faith is called the sole instrument, this means the sole 
internal instrument, not the sole instrument of any kind. 

" There is nothing inconsistent, then, in Faith being the 
sole instrument of justification, and yet Baptism also the 
sole instrument, and that at the same time, because in dis- 
tinct senses ; an inward instrument in no way interfering 
with an outward instrument, Baptism may be the hand of 
the giver, and Faith the hand of the receiver." 

Nor docs the sole instrumentality of Faith interfere with 
the doctrine of Works being a mean also. And that it is a 
mean, the Homily of Alms-deeds declares in the strongest 
language, as will also be quoted in Section 11. 

" An assent to the doctrine that Faith alone justifies, 
does not at all preclude the doctrine of Works justifying 
also. If, indeed, it were said that Works justify in the 
same sense as Faith only justifies, this would be a con- 

Justification hy Faith only. 13 

tradiction in terms; but Faith only may justify in one 
sense — Good Works in another: — and this is all that is 
here maintained. After all, does not Christ only justify ? 
How is it that the doctrine of Faith justifying does not 
interfere with our Lord's being the sole Justifier ? It will, 
of course, be replied, that our Lord is the meritorious cause, 
and Faith the means; that Faith justifies in a different 
and subordinate sense. As, then, Christ justifies in the 
sense in which He justifies alone, yet Faith also justifies in 
its own sense; so Works, whether moral or ritual, may 
justify us in their own respective senses, though in the 
sense in which Faith justifies, it only justifies. The only 
question is. What is that sense in which Works justify, so 
as not to interfere with Faith only justifying? It may, 
indeed, turn out on inquiry, that the sense alleged will not 
hold, either as being unscriptural, or for any other reason ; 
but, whether so or not, at any rate the apparent incon- 
sistency of language should not startle persons ; nor should 
they so promptly condemn those who, though they do not 
use their language, use St. Jamcs*'s. Indeed, is not this 
argument the very weapon of the Arians, in their warfare 
against the Son of God ? They said, Christ is not God, 
because the Father is called the ' Only God.' " 

2. Next we have to inquire in what sense Faith only does 
justify. In a number of ways, of which here two only shall 
be mentioned. 

First, it is the pleading or impetrating principle, or 
constitutes our title to justification ; being analogous among 
the graces to Closes' lifting up his hands on the Mount, or 
the Israelites eyeing the Brazen Serpent, — actions which 
did not merit God's mercy, but ashd for it. A number of 
means go to effect our justification. We are justified .by 
Christ alone, in that He has purchased the gift ; by Faith 
alone, in that Faith asks for it ; by Baptism alone, for 
Baptism conveys it ; and by newness of heart alone, for 
newness of heart is the life of it. 

And secondly, Faith, as being the beginning of perfect or 
justifying righteousness, is taken for what it tends towards, 

14 Works before and after Just if cation. 

or ultimately will bo. It is said by anticipation to bo that 
which it promises ; just as one might pay a labourer his 
hire before he began his work. Faith working by love is 
the seed of divine graces, which in due time will be brought 
forth and flourish — partly in this world, fully in the next. 

§ 3. — Worh before and after Justif cation. 

Articles xii. & xiii. — " Works done before the grace of 
Christ, and the inspiration of His Spirit, [' before justifi- 
cation,' title of the Article,] are not pleasant to God (minimi 
Deo grata sunt) ; forasmuch as they spring not of Faith in 
Jesus Christ, neither do they make man meet to receive 
grace, or (as the school authors say) deserve grace of 
congruity (merentur gratiam de congruo) ; yea, rather for 
that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded 
them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of 
sin. Albeit good works, which are the fruits of faith, and 
follow after justification (justificatos sequuntur), cannot put 
away (expiare) our sins, and endure the severity of God's 
judgment, yet are they pleasing and acceptable (grata et 
accepta) to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily 
of a true and lively Faith." 

Two sorts of works are here mentioned — works before 
justification, and works after ; and they are most strongly 
contrasted with each other. 

1. Works before justification, are done " before the grace 
of Christ, and the inspiration of His Spirit." 

2. Works before " do not spring of Faith in Jesus 
Christ ;" works after are " the fruits of Faith." 

3. Works before "have the nature of sin;" works after 
are " good works." 

4. Works before " are not pleasant (grata) to God ;" 
works after " are pleasing and acceptable (grata et accepta) 
to God." 

Worh before and after Jtisiijicaiion. 15 

Two propositions, mentioned in these Articles, remain, 
and deserve consideration : First, that works lefore justifi- 
cation do not make or dispose men to receive grace, or, as 
the school writers say, deserve grace of congruity ; secondly, 
that works after "cannot put away our sins, and endure 
the severity of Ood's judgment." 

1. As to the former statement, — to deserve de congnio^ 
or of congruity, is to move the Divine regard, not from 
any claim upon it, but from a certain fitness or suitableness ; 
as, for instance, it might be said that dry wood had a 
certain disposition or fitness towards heat which green 
wood had not. Now, the Article denies that works done 
before the grace of Christ, or in a mere state of nature, in 
this way dispose towards grace, or move God to grant 
grace. And it asserts, with or without reason, (for it is a 
question oi historical fact., which need not specially concern 
us,) that certain schoolmen maintained the affirmative. 

Now, that this is what it means, is plain from the 
following passages of the Homilies, which in no respect 
have greater claims upon us than as comments upon the 
Articles : — 

" Therefore they that teach repentance without a lively faith in our 
Saviour Jesus Christ, do teach none other but Judas's repentance, 
as all the schoolmen do, which do only allow these three parts of re- 
pentance, — the contrition of the heart, the confession of the mouth, 
and the satisfaction of the work. But all these things we find in 
Judas's repentance, which, in outward appearance, did far exceed and 
pass the repentance of Peter. . . . This was commonly the penance 
which Christ enjoined sinners, ' Go thy way, and sin no more ;' which 
penance we shall never be able to fulfil, without the special grace of 
Ilim that doth say, ' Without Me, ye can do nothing.' " — On Re- 
pentance, p. 460. 

To take a passage which is still more clear : 

" As these examples are not brought in to the end that we should 
thereby take a boldness to sin, presuming on the mercy and goodness 
of God, but to the end that, if, through the frailness of our own flesh, 
and the temptation of the devil, we fall into the like sins, we should in 
no wise despair of the mercy and goodness of God : even so must we 
beware and take heed, that we do in no wise think in our hearts. 

1 6 Wor/cs before and after Justification. 

imagine, or believe f/iat we are able to repent aright, or to turn effec- 
tually unto the Lord by our own in'ight and strength." — Ibid, part i. fin. 

The Article contemplates these two states, — one of 
justifying grace, and one of the utter destitution of grace; 
and it says, that those who are in utter destitution cannot 
do any thing to gain justification ; and, indeed, to assert 
the contrary would be Pelagianism. However, there is an 
intermediate state, of which the Article says nothing, but 
which must not be forgotten, as being an actually existing 
one. Men are not always either in light or in darkness, 
but are sometimes between the two ; they are sometimes 
not in a state of Christian justification, yet not utterly 
deserted by God, but in a state something like that of Jews 
or of Heathen, turning to the thought of religion. They 
are not gifted with habitual grace, but they still are visited 
by Divine influences, or by actual grace, or rather aid; 
and these influences are the first-fruits of the grace of 
justification going before it, and are intended to lead on to 
it, and to be perfected in it, as twilight leads to day. And 
since it is a Scripture maxim, that "he that is faithful in 
that which is least, is faithful also in much ;"" and " to who- 
soever hath, to him shall be given ;" therefore, it is quite 
true that works done with divine aid, and in faith, be/ore 
justification, do dispose men to receive the grace of justifi- 
cation ; — such were Cornelius*'s alms, fastings, and prayers, 
which led to his baptism. At the same time it must be 
borne in mind that, even in such cases, it is not the works 
themselves which make them meet, as some schoolmen 
seem to have said, but the secret aid of God, vouchsafed, 
equally with the " grace and Spirit," which is the portion 
of the baptized, for the merits of Christ's sacrifice. 

[But it may be objected, that the silence observed in the 
Article about a state between that of justification and 
grace, and that of neither, is a proof that there is none 
such. This argument, however, would prove too much ; 
for in like manner there is a silence in the Sixth Article 
about n judge of the scripturalness of doctrine, yet a judge 

The Visible Church. 1 7 

there must be. And, again, few, it is supposed, would deny 
that Cornelius, before the angel came to him, was in a more 
hopeful state, than Simon Magus or Felix. The difficulty 
then, if there be one, is common to persons of whatever 
school of opinion.] 

2. If works hefore justification, when done by the influence 
of divine aid, gain grace, much more do works after justifi- 
cation. They are, according to the Article, "grata,'' 
"pleasing to God;" and they are accepted, "accepta;" 
which means that God re\^"ards them, and that of course 
according to their degree of excellence. At the same time, 
as works before justification may nevertheless be done 
under a divine influence, so works after justification are 
still liable to the infection of original sin ; and, as not 
being perfect, "cannot expiate our sins,*" or "endure the 
severity of God's judgment." 

§ 4. — The Visible Church. 

Art. xix. — " Tlie visible Church of Christ is a congre- 
gation of faithful men (ccetus fidelium), in the which the 
pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly 
ministered, according to Christ's ordinance, in all those 
things that of necessity are requisite to the same." 

This is not an abstract definition of a Church, but a 
description of the actually existing One Holy Catholic 
Church diffused throughout the world ; as if it were read, 
" The Church is a certain society of the faithful," &c. 
This is evident from the mode of describing the Catholic 
Church familiar to all writers from the first ages down to 
the age of this Article. For instance, St. Clement of 
Alexandria says, " I mean by the Church, not a place, but 
the congregation of the elect.'''' Origen : " The Church, the 
assembly of all the faithful.'''' St. Ambrose : " One congre- 
gation, one Church." St. Isidore : " The Church is a con- 

18 The Visible Church. 

gregation of saints, collected on a certain faith, and the best 
conduct of life."" St. Augnslin : " The Church is the people 
of God through all ages." Again: "The Church is the 
multitude which is spread over the whole earth." St. Cyril: 
" When we speak of the Church, we denote the most holy 
multitude of the pious.'''' Theodoret : "The Apostle calls 
the Church the assembly of the fa'ithfuV Pope Gregory: 
" The Church, a midtitude of the faithful collected of both 
sexes." Bede : ^ The Church is the congregation of all 
saints.'''' Alcuin : " The Holy Catholic Church, — in Latin, 
the congregation of the faithfid.''' Amalarius: "The Church 
is the people called togethier by the Church's ministers." 
Pope Nicolas T. : " The Church, that is, the congregation of 
Catholics.'''' St. Bernard : " What is the Spouse, but the 
congregation of the just?'"' Peter the Venerable: "The 
Church is called a congregation, but not of all things, not of 
cattle, but of men, faithfid, good, just. Though bad among 
these good, and just among the unjust, are revealed or 
concealed, yet it is called a Church." Hugo Victorinus: 
" The Holy Church, that is, the university of the faithful.'''' 
Arnulphus: "The Church is called the congregation of the 
faithfid.'''' Albertus ^lagnus : " The Greek word Church 
means in Latin convocation ; and whereas works and callings 
belongs to rational animals, and reason in man is inward 
faith, therefore it is called the congregation of the faithful.'''' 
Durandus : " The Church is in one sense material, in which 
divers offices are celebrated ; in another spiritual, which is 
the collection of the faithfid.'''' Alvarus : " The Church is 
the multitude of the faithful, or the university of Christians." 
Pope Pius n. : " The Church is the multitude of the faith- 
ful dispersed through all nations '." [And so the Reformers, 
in their own way ; for instance, the Confession of Auffsburfjli. 
" The one Holy Church will remain for ever. Now the 
Church of Christ properly is the congregation of the 
members of Christ, that is, of saints who truly believe and 
obey Christ ; though with this congregation many bad 

' These instances are from Launoy. 

The Visible Chirch. 19 

and hypocrites are mixed in this life, till the last judgment."" 
vii. — And the Saxon : " We say then that the visible 
Church in this life is an assembly of those who embrace the 
Gospel of Christ and rightly use the Sacraments," &c, xii.] 

These illustrations of the phraseology of the Article may 
be multiplied in any number. And they plainly show that 
it is not laying down any logical definition what a Church 
is, but is describing, and, as it were, pointing to the 
Catholic Church diffused throughout the world ; which, 
being but one, cannot possibly be mistaken, and requires 
no other account of it beyond this single and majestic one. 
The ministration of the Word and Sacraments is mentioned 
as a further note of it. As to the question of its limits, 
whether Episcopal Succession or whether intercommunion 
with the whole be necessary to each part of it, — these are 
questions, most important indeed, but of detail, and are 
not expressly treated of in the Articles. 

This view is further illustrated by the following passage 
from the Homily for Whitsunday: — 

•' Our Saviour Christ departing out of the world unto His Father, 
promised His Disciples to send down another Comforter, that should 
continue with them for ever, and direct them into all truth. Which 
thing, to be faithfully and truly performed, the Scriptures do sufli- 
ciently bear witness. Neither must we think that this Comforter 
was either promised, or else given, only to the Apostles, but also to 
the universal Church of Christ, dispersed through the whole world. 
For, unless the Holy Ghost has been always present, governing and 
preserving the Church from the beginning, it could never have suffered 
so many and great brunts of aflliction and persecution, with so little 
damage and harm as it hath. And the words of Christ are most plain 
in this behalf, saying, that ' the Spirit of Truth should abide with 
them for ever;' that ' He would be with them always (He meaneth by 
grace, virtue, and power) even to the world's end.' 

"Also in the prayer that He made to His Father a little before 
His death, He maketh intercession, not only for Himself and His 
Apostles, but indifferently for all them that should believe in Ilini 
through their words, tliat is, to wit, for His whole Church. Again, 
St. Paul saith, • If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, the same 
is not His.' Also, in the words following : ' We have received the 
Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.' Hereby, then, it 
is evident and plain to all men, that the Holy Ghost was given, not 

c 2 

20 The Visible Church. 

only to the Apostles, but also to the wliole hochj of Christ's congre- 
gation, although not in like form and majesty as He came down at the 
feast of Pentecost. But now herein standeth the controversy, — whether 
all men do justly arrogate to themselves the Holy Ghost, or no. 
The Bishops of Rome have for a long time made a sore challenge 
thereto, reasoning with themselves after this sort: 'The Holy Ghost,' 
say they, ' was promised to the Church, and never forsaketh the 
Church, But we are the chief heads and the principal part of the 
Church, therefore we have the Holy Ghost for ever: and whatsoever 
things we decree are undoubted verities and oi-acles of the Holy 
Ghost.' That ye may perceive the weakness of this argument, it is 
needful to teach you, first, what the true Church of Christ is, and then 
to confer the Church of Rome therewith, to discern how well they agree 
together. The true Church is aii universal congregation or fellowship 
of God's faithful and elect people, built upon the foundation of the 
Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the head corner- 
stone. And it hath always three notes or marks, whereby it is known : 
pure and sound doctrine, the Sacraments ministered according to 
Christ's holy institution, and the right use of ecclesiastical discipline. 
This description of the Church is agreeable both to the Scriptures of 
God, and also to the doctrine of the ancient Fathers, so that none may 
justly find fault therewith. Now, if you will compare this with the Church 
of Rome, not as it was in the beginning, but as it is at present, and 
hath been for the space of nine hundred years and odd ; you shall well 
perceive the state thereof to be so far wide from the nature of the 
Church, that nothing can be more." 

This passage is quoted, not for all it contains, but in that 
respect in which it claims attention, viz. as far as it is an 
illustration of the Article. It is speaking of the one 
Catholic Church, not of an abstract idea of a Church which 
may be multiplied indefinitely in fact ; and it uses the 
same terms of it which the Article does of "the visible 
Church." It says that " the true Church is an universal 
congregation or fellowship of God"'s faithful and elect 
people," &c., which as closely corresponds to the ccetus 
fidelium, or "congregation of faithful men" of the Article, 
as the above descriptions from Fathers or Divines do. 
Therefore, the coetus fidelium spoken of in the Article is not 
a definition, which kirk, or connexion, or other communion 
may be made to fall under, but the enunciation of a fact. 


§ 5. — General Councils. 

Article xxi.— " General councils may not be gathered 
together without the commandment and will of princes. 
And when they be gathered together, forasmuch as they 
be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with 
the Spirit and Word of God, they may err, and sometimes 
have erred, in things pertaining to God." 

That great bodies of men, of different countries, may not 
meet together without the sanction of their rulers, is plain 
from the principles of civil obedience and from primitive 
practice. That, when met together, though Christians, 
they will not be all ruled by the Spirit or Word of God, 
is plain from our Lord's parable of the net, and from 
melancholy experience. That bodies of men, deficient in 
this respect, may err, is a self-evident truth, — unless, indeed, 
they be favoured with some divine superintendence, which 
has to be proved, before it can be admitted. 

General councils then may err, [as such ; — may err,] 
unless in any case it is promised, as a matter of express 
supernatural privilege, that they shall not err ; a case which 
[as consisting in the fulfilment of additional or subsequent 
conditions,] lies beyond the scope of this Article, or at any 
rate beside its determination. 

Such a promise, however, does exist, in cases when 
general councils are not only gathered together according 
to "the commandment and will of princes," but in the 
Name of Christ, according to our Lord's promise. The 
Article merely contemplates the human prince, not the 
King of Saints. "While councils are a thing of earth, their 
infallibility of course is not guaranteed ; when they are a 
thing of heaven, their deliberations are overruled, and their 
decrees authoritative. In such cases they are Catholic 
councils ; and it would seem, from passages which will 
be quoted in Section 1 1 , that the Homilies recognize four, 
or even six, as bearing this character. Thus Catholic or 
GEcumenical Councils are general councils, and something 

22 Purgatory^ Pardons, Images^ 

more. Some general councils are Catholic, and others arc 
not. Nay, as even Romanists grant, the same councils may 
be partly Catholic, partly not. 

If Catholicity be thus a quality^ found at times in general 
councils, rather than the differentia belonging to a certain 
class of them, it is still less surprising that the Article 
should bo silent about it. 

What those conditions are, which fulfil the notion of a 
gathering "in the Name of Christ," in the case of a 
particular council, it is not necessary here to determine. 
Some have included among these conditions, the subsequent 
reception of its decrees by the universal Church ; others a 
rectification by the pope. 

Another of these conditions, however, the Article goes 
on to mention, viz. that in points necessary to salvation, a 
council should prove its decrees by Scripture. 

St. Gregory Nazianzen well illustrates the consistency of 
this Article with a belief in the infallibility of (Ecumenical 
Councils, by his own language on the subject on different 

In the following passage he anticipates the Article : — 

"My mind is, if I must write the truth, to keep clear of every con- 
ference of bishops, for of conference never saw I good come, or a 
remedy so much as an increase of evils. For there is strife and 
ambition, and these have the upper hand of reason." — Ep. 55. 

Yet, on the other hand, he speaks elsewhere of "the 
Holy Council in Nicaja, and that band of chosen men whom 
the Holy Ghost brought together." — Orat. 21. 

§ 6. — Purgatory, Pardons, Images, Belies, Invocation of 


Article xxii. — " The Eomish doctrine concerning pur- 
gatoi-y, pardons (de indulgcntiis), worshipping (de venc- 
ratione) and adoration, as well of images as of relics, and 

Belies^ Invocation of Saints. 23 

also invocation of saints, is a fond thing (res est futilis) 
vainly (inanitcr) invented, and grounded upon no warranty 
of Scripture, but rather repugnant (contradicit) to the 
Word of God." 

Now the first remark that occurs on perusing this Article 
is, that the doctrine objected to is " the liomish doctrine." 
For instance, no one would suppose that tlie Cahmiisiic 
doctrine containing purgatory, pardons, and image-worship, 
is spoken against. Not every doctrine on these matters is 
a fond thing, but the Bomish doctrine. Accordingly, the 
Primitive doctrine is not condemned in it, unless, indeed, 
the Primitive doctrine be the Romish, which must not be 
supposed. Now there icas a primitive doctrine on all these 
points, — how far Catholic or universal, is a further question, 
— but still so widely received and so respectably supported, 
that it may well be entertained as a matter of opinion by a 
theologian now ; this, then, whatever be its merits, is not 
condemned by this Article. 

This is clear without proof on the face of the matter, at 
least as regards pardons. Of course, the Article never 
meant to make light of every doctrine about pardons, but a 
certain doctrine, the Romish doctrine, [as indeed the plural 
form itself shows.] 

And [such an understanding of the Article is supported 
by] some sentences in the Homily on Peril of Idolatry, in 
which, as far as regards relics, a certain " veneration " is 
sanctioned by its tone in speaking of them, though not of 
course the Romish veneration. 

Tlie sentences referred to run as follow: — 

" In the Tripartite Ecclesiastical Histoi'y, tlie Ninth Book, and 
Forty-eighth Chapter, is testified, that ' Epinlianins, being yet alive, 
did work miracles : and that after his death, devils, bei))(j expelled at 
his grave or tomb, did roar.' Thns you see what authority St. Jerome 
(who has just been mentioned) and that most ancient history give unto 
the holy and learned Bishop Epiphanius." 

Again : 

"St. Ambrose, in his Treatise of the Death of Theodosius the 

24 Purgatory^ Pardons, Images, 

Emperor, saith, ' Helena found the Cross, and the title on it. She 
worshipped the King, and not the wood, surely (for that is an 
heathenish error and the vanity of the wicked), but she worshipped 
Him that hanged on the Cross, and whose Name was written on the 
title,' and so forth. See both the godly empress's fact, and St. 
Ambrose's judgment at once ; they thought it had been an heathenish 
error, and vanity of the wicked, to have worshipped the Cross itself 
which was imbrued with our Saviour Christ's own precious blood."— 
Peril of Idolatry, part 2, circ, init. 

In these passages the writer does not positively commit 
himself to the miracles at Epiphanius's tomb, or the 
discovery of the true Cross, but he evidently wishes the 
hearer to think he believes in both. This he would not do, 
if he thought all honour paid to relics wrong. 

If, then, in the judgment of the Homilies, not all doctrine 
concerning veneration of relics is condemned in the Article 
before us, but a certain toleration of them is compatible 
with its wording ; neither is all doctrine concerning pur- 
gatory, pardons, images, and saints, condemned by the 
Article, but only " the Romish." 

And further by "the Romish doctrine," is not meant the 
Tridentine [statement], because this Article was drawn up 
before the decree of the Council of Trent. What is opposed 
is the received doctrine of the day, and unhappily of this 
day too, or the doctrine of the Roman schools ; a conclusion 
which is still more clear, by considering that there are 
portions in the Tridentine [statements] on these subjects, 
which the Article, far from condemning, by anticipation 
approves, as far as they go. For instance, the Decree of 
Trent enjoins concerning purgatory thus: — "Among the 
uneducated vulgar let difficult and subtle questions, which 
make not for edification, and seldom contribute aught 
towards piety, be kept back from popular discourses. 
Neither let them suffer the public mention and treatment of 
uncertain points, or such as look like falsehood^'' Session 25. 
Again, about images : " Due honour and veneration is to be 
paid unto them, not that we believe that any divinity or 
virtue is in them, for which they should be worshipped 

Relics^ Invocation of Saints. 25 

(colendse) or that we should ash any thing of them, or that 
trust should be reposed in images, as formerly was done 
by the Gentiles, which used to place their hope on idols."" 

If then, the doctrine condemned in this Article concerning 
purgatory, pardons, images, relics, and saints, be not the 
Primitive doctrine, nor the Catholic doctrine, nor the Tri- 
dentine [statement] but the Romish, docirina Bomanensium^ 
let us next consider loJiat in matter of fact it is. And 

1. As to the doctrine of the Romanists concerning 

Now here there was a primitive doctrine, whatever its 
merits, concerning the fire of judgment, which is a possible 
or a probable opinion, and is not condemned. That doctrine 
is this : that the conflagration of the world, or the flames 
which attend the Judge, will be an ordeal through which 
all men will pass ; that great saints, such as St. Mary, will 
pass it unharmed ; that others will suffer loss ; but none 
will fail under it who are built upon the right foundation. 
Here is one [purgatorian doctrine] not " Romish." 

Another doctrine, purgatorian, but not Romish, is that 
said to be maintained by the Greeks at Florence, in which 
the cleansing, though a punishment, was but a posna damni, 
not a poena sensus ; not a positive sensible infliction, much 
less the torment of fire, but the absence of God's presence. 
And another purgatory is that in which the cleansing is but 
a progressive sanctification, and has no pain at all. 

None of these doctrines does the Article condemn ; any 
of them may be held by the Anglo- Catholic as a matter of 
private belief; not that they are here advocated, one or 
other, but they are adduced as an illustration of what the 
Article does 7iot mean, and to vindicate our Christian 
liberty in a matter where the Church has not confined it. 

[For what the doctrine which is reprobated is, we might 
refer, in the first place, to the Council of Florence, where a 
decree was passed on the subject, were not that decree 
almost as vague as the Tridentine ; viz. that deficiency of 
penance is made up by poenw purgatorian.^ 

26 Purgatory, 

" Now doth St. Augustine say, that those men which are cast into 
prison after this life, on that condition, may in no wise be holpen, 
though we would help them never so much. And why ? Because the 
sentence of God is tmchangeable, and cannot be revolced again. There- 
fore let us not deceive ourselves, thinking that either we may help 
others, or others may help us, by their good and charitable prayers in 
time to come. For, as the preacher saitli, ' Where the tree falleth, 
whether it be toward the south, or toward the north, in what place 
soever the tree falleth, there it lieth:' meaning thereby, that every 
mortal man d'letli either in the state of salvation or damnation, according 
as the words of the Evangelist John do plainly import, saying, * He 
that believeth on the Son of God hath etei-nal life; but he that 
believeth not on the Son, shall never see life, but the wrath of God 
abideth upon him,' — where is then the third place, which they call 
purgatory ? Or where shall our prayers help and profit the dead ? 
St. Augustine doth only acknowledge two places after this life, heaven 
and hell. As for the third place, he doth plainly deny that there 
is any such to be found in all Scripture. Chrysostom likewise is of 
this mind, that, unless we wash away our sins in this present world, 
we shall find no comfort afterward. And St. Cvprian saith, that, 
after death, repentance and sorrow of pain shall be without fruit, 
weeping also shall be in vain, and prayer shall be to no purpose. 
Therefore he counselleth all men to make provision for themselves 
while they may, because, when they are once departed out of this life, 
there is no place for repentance, nor yet for satisfaction." — Homily 
concerning Prayer, pp. 282, 283. 

Now it [would seem], from this passage, that the Pur- 
gatory contemplated by the Homily, was one for which no 
one will for an instant pretend to adduce even those 
Fathers who most favour Rome, viz. one in which our state 
would he changed, in which God's sentence could be reversed. 
"The sentence of God,"" says the writer, "is unchangeable, 
and cannot be revoked again ; there is no place for re- 
pentance.'''' On the other hand, the Council of Trent, and 
Augustin and Cyprian, so far as they express or imply any 
opinion approximating to that of the Council, held Purgatory 
to be a place for believers, not unbelievers, not where men 
who have lived and died in God's wrath, may gain pardon, 
but where those who have already been pardoned in this 
life, may be cleansed and purified for beholding the face of 
God. The Homily, then, and therefore the Article [as far 

. Purgatory. 27 

as the Homily may be taken to explain it], does not speak 
of tlie Tridentine purgatory. 

The mention of Prayers for the dead in the above passage, 
affords an additional illustration of the limited and [relative] 
sense of the terms of the Article now under consideration. 
For such prayers are obviously not condemned in it in the 
abstract, or in every shape, but as offered to rescue the lost 
from eternal fire. 

[Hooker, in his Sermon on Pride, gives us a second view 
of the " Romish doctrine of Purgatory,"" from the schoolmen. 
After speaking of the pxna damni, he says — 

"The other punishment, which hath in it not only loss of joy, but 
also sense of grief, vexation, and woe, is that whei-eunto they give the 
name of purgatory pains, in nothing different from those very infernal 
torments which the souls of castaways, together with damned spirits, do 
endure, save only in this, there is an appointed term to the one, to the 
otlier none ; but for the time they last they are equal." — Vol. 
iii. p. 798.] 

Such doctrine, too, as the following may well be included 
in that which the Article condemns under the name of 
" Romish." The passage to be quoted has already appeared 
in these Tracts. 

" In the ' Speculum Exemplorum ' it is said, that a certain priest, in 
an ecstasy, saw the soul of Constantius Turritanus in the eaves of his 
house, tormented with frosts and cold rains, and afterwards climbing 
up to heaven upon a shining pillai*. And a certain monk saw some 
souls roasted upon spits like pigs, and some devils basting them with 
scalding lard ; but a while after, they were carried to a cool place, and 
so proved purgatory. But Bishop Theobald, standing upon a piece of 
ice to cool his feet, was nearer purgator)' than he was aware, and was 
convinced of it, when he heard a poor soul telling him, that under tliat 
ice he was tormented ; and that he should be delivered, if for thirty 
days continual, he would say for him thirty masses. And some such 
thing was seen by Conrade and Udalric in a pool of water ; for tlie 
place of purgatory was not yet resolved on, till St. Patrick hiul the 
key of it delivered to him, which when one Nicholas borrowed of him, 
lie saw as strange and true things there, as ever Virgil dreamed of in 
his purgatory, or Cicero in his dream of Scipio, or Plato in his Gorgias, 
or PhuDdo, who indeed are the surest authors to prove purgatory. 
But because to preach false stories was forbidden by the Council of 

28 Purgatory. 

Trent, there are yet remaining more certain arguments, even revelations 
made by angels, and the testimony of St. Odilio himself, who heard 
the devil complain (and he had great reason surely), that the souls 
of dead men wei-e daily snatched out of his hands, by the alms and 
prayers of the living; and the sister of St. Damianus, being too much 
pleased with hearing of a piper, told her bi-other, that she was to be 
tormented for fifteen days in purgatory. 

" We do not think that the wise men in the Cliurch of Rome believe 
these narratives ; for if they did, they were not wise ; but this we 
know, that by such stories the people were brought into a belief of it, 
and having served their turn of them, the master builders used them 
as false arches and centries, taking them away when the parts of the 
building were made firm and stable by authority." — Jer. Taylor, 
Works, vol. X. pp. 151, 152. 

Another specimen of doctrine, which no one will attempt 
to prove from Scripture, is the following : — 

" Eastwardlj', between two walls, was a vast place of purgatory 
fixed, and beyond it a pond to rinse souls in, that had waded through 
purgatory, the water being salt and cold beyond comparison. Over 
this purgatory St. Nicholas was the owner. 

"There was a mighty bridge, all beset with nails and spikes, and 
leading to the mount of joy ; on which mount was a stately church, 
seemingly capable to contain all the inhabitants of the world, and into 
which the souls were no sooner entered, but that they forgot all their 
former torments. 

" Returning to the first Church, there they found St. Michael the 
Ai'changel and the Apostles Peter and Paul. St. Michael caused all 
the white souls to pass through the flames, unharmed, to the mount of 
joy ; and those that had black and white spots, St. Peter led into pur- 
gatory to be purified. 

" In one part sate St. Paul, and the devil opposite to him with his 
guards, with a pair of scales between them, weighing all such souls as 
were all over black; when upon turning a soul, the scale turned 
towards St. Paul, he sent it to purgatory, there to expiate its sins ; 
when towards the devil, his crew, with great triumph, plunged it info 
the flaming pit 

"The rustic likewise saw near the entrance of the town-hall, as it 
were, four streets ; the first was full of innumerable furnaces and 
cauldrons filled with flaming pitch and other liquids, and boiling of 
souls, whose heads were like those of black fishes in the seething 
liquor. The second had its cauldrons stored with snow and ice, to 
torment souls with horrid cold. The third had thereof boiling sulphur 
and other materials, affording the worst of stinks, for the vexing of 

Pardons. 29 

souls that had wallowed in the filth of lust. The fourth had cauldrons 
of a most horrid salt and black water. Now sinners of all sorts were 
alternately tormented in these cauldrons." — Purgatory proved by Mi- 
racle, hy S. Johnson, pp. 8 — 10. 

[Let it be considered, then, whether on the whole the 
" llomish doctrine of Purgatory," which the Article con- 
demns, and which was generally believed in the Roman 
Church three centuries since, as well as now, viewed in its 
essence, be not the doctrine, that the punishment of un- 
righteous Christians is temporary, not eternal, and that the 
purification of the righteous is a portion of the same 
punishment, together with the superstitions, and impostures 
for the sake of gain, consequent thereupon.] 

2. Pardons, or Indulgences. 

The history of the rise of the Reformation will interpret 
" the Romish doctrine concerning pardons,'" without going 
further. Burnet thus speaks on the subject : — 

" In the primitive church there were very severe rules made, obliging 
all that had sinned publicly (and they were afterwards applied to such 
as had sinned secretly) to continue for many years in a state of 
separation from the Sacrament, and of penance and discipline. But 
because all such general rules admit of a great variety of circumstances, 
taken from men's sins, their persons, and their repentance, there was a 
power given to all Bishops, by the Council of Nice, to shorten the 
time, and to relax the severity of those Canons, and such favour as 
they saw cause to grant, was called indulgence. This was just and 
necessary, and was a provision without which no constitution or 
society can be well governed. But after the tenth century, as the 
Popes came to take this power in the whole extent of it into their own 
hands, so they found it too feeble to carry on the great designs that 
they grafted upon it. 

"They gave it high names, and called it a plenary remission, and 
the pardon of all sins : which the world was taught to look on as a 
thing of a much higher nature, than the bare excusing of men from 
discipline and penance. Purgatory was then got to be firmly believed, 
and all men were strangely possessed with the terror of it : so a 
deliverance from purgatory, and by consequence an immediate ad- 
mission into heaven, was believed to be the certain effect of it. 
Multitudes were, by these means, engaged to go to the Holy Land, to 
recover it out of the hands of the Saracens : afterwards they armed 
vast numbers against the heretics, to extirpate them : they fought also 

so Pardons. 

all those quarrels, which their amhitious pretensions engaged them in, 
with emperors and other princes, by the same pay ; and at last they 
set it to sale with the same impudence, and almost with the same 
methods, that mountebanks use in venting of their secrets. 

"This was so gross, even in an ignorant age, and among the ruder 
sort, that it gave tlie first rise to the Reformation : and as the progress 
of it was a very signal work of God, so it was in a great measure 
owing to the scandals that this shameless practice had given the world." 
—Burnet on Article XIV. p. 190. 

Again : — 

"The virtue of indulgences is the applying the treasure of the 
Church upon such terms as Popes shall think fit to prescribe, in order 
to the redeeming souls from purgatory, and from all other temporal 
punishments, and that for such a number of years as shall be specified 
in the bulls ; some of which have gone to thousands of years ; one I 
have seen to ten hundred thousand: and as these indulgences are 
sometimes granted by special tickets, like tallies struck on that 
treasure ; so sometimes they are affixed to particular churches and 
altars, to particular times, or days, chiefly to the year of jubilee; they 
are also afiaxed to such things as may be carried about, to Agnus Dei's, 
to medals, to rosaries, and scapularies ; tlrey are also affixed to some 
prayers, the devout saying of them being a mean to procure great 
indulgences. The granting these is left to the Pope's discretion, who 
ought to distribute them as he thinks may tend most to the honour of 
God and the good of tlie Church ; and he ought not to be too profuse, 
much less to be too scanty in dispensing them. 

" Tliis has been the received doctrine and practice of the Church of 
Rome since the twelfth century : and the Council of Trent, in a hurry, 
in its last session, did, in very general words, approve of the practice 
of the Church in this matter, and decreed that indulgences should be 
continued ; only they restrained some abuses, in particular that of selling 
them." — Burnet on Article XXII. p. 305. 

Burnet goes on to maintain that the act of the Council 
was incomplete and evaded. If it be necessary to say more 
on the subject, let us attend to the following passage from 
Jeremy Taylor: — 

" I might have instanced in worse matters, made by the Popes of 
Rome to be pious works, the condition of obtaining indulgences. 
Such as was the bull of Pope Julius the Second, giving indulgence to 
him that meeting a Frenchman should kill him, and another for the 

killing of a Venetian I desire this only instance maybe added 

to it, that Pope Paul the Third, he that convened the Council of Trent, 

Pardons. SI 

and Julius tlio Tliird, for fear, as I may suppose, the Council should 
forbid any more such follies, for a farewell to this game, gave an 
indulgence to the fraternity of the Sacrament of the Altar, or of the 
Blessed Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of such a vastncss and un- 
reasonable folly, that it puts us beyond the question of religion, to an 
inquiry, whether it were not done either in perfect distraction, or, with 
a worse design, to make religion to be ridiculous, and to expose it to a 
contempt and scorn. The conditions of the indulgence are, either io 
visit the Chmxh of St. Hilary of Chartres, to say a ' Pater Noster' and 
an ' Ave Mary ' every Friday, or, at most, to be present at processions 
and other divine service upon ' Corpus Christi day.' The gift is — as 
many privileges, indults, exemptions, liberties, immunities, plenary 
pardons of sins, and other spiritual graces, as were given to the 
fraternity of the Image of our Saviour 'ad Sancta Sanctorum;' the 
fraternity of the charity and great hospital of St. James in Augusta, 
of St. John Baptist, of St. Cosmas and Damianus ; of the Florentine 
nation ; of the hospital of the Holy Ghost in Saxia ; of the order of 
St. Austin and St. Champ ; of the fraternities of the said city ; of the 
churches of our Lady * de populo et verbo;' and all those that were 
ever given to them that visited these churches, or those which should 
ever be given hereafter — a pretty large gift ! In which there were so 
many pardons, quarter-pardons, half-pardons, true pardons, plenary 
pardons, quarantines, and years of quarantines ; that it is a harder 
thing to number them, than to purchase them. I shall remark in these 
some particulars to be considered. 

"1. That a most scandalous and unchristian dissolution and death 
of all ecclesiastical discipline, is consequent to the making all sin so 
cheap and trivial a thing ; that the horrible demerits and exemplary 
punishment and remotion of scandal and satisfaction to the Church, 
are indeed reduced to trifling and mock penances. He that shall send 
a servant with a candle to attend the holy Sacrament, when it shall be 
carried to sick people, or shall go himself; or, if he can neither go nor 
send, if he say a 'Pater Noster' and an 'Ave,' he shall have a hundred 
years of true pardon. This is fair and easy. But then, 

" 2. It would be considered what is meant by so many years of 
pardon, and so many years of true pardon. I know but of one natural 
interpretation of it; and that it can mean nothing, but that some of 
the pardons are but fantastical, and not true; and in this I find 
no fault, save only that it ought to have been said, that all of them 
arc fantastical. 

"3. It were fit we learned how to compute four thousand and eight 
hundred years of quarantines, and a remission of a third part of all 
their sins; for so much is given to every brother and sister of this 
fraternity, upon Easter-day, and eight days after. Now if a brother 

32 Images and Relics, 

needs not thus many, it would be considered wlietlier it did not 
encourage a brother or a frail sister to use all their medicine, and sin 
more freely, lest so great a gift become useless. 

"4. And this is so much the more considerable because the gift is 
vast beyond all imagination. The first four days in Lent they may 
purchase thirty-three thousand years of pardon, besides a plenary 
remission of all their sins over and above. The first week of Lent a 
hundred and three-and-thirty thousand years of pardon, besides five 
plenary remissions of all their sins, and two third parts besides, and 
the delivery of one soul out of purgatory. The second week in Lent 
a hundred and eight-and-fifty thousand years of pardon, besides the 
remission of all their sins, and a third part besides ; and the delivery 
of one soul. The third week in Lent, eighty thousand years, besides 
a plenary remission, and the delivei-y of one soul out of purgatory. 
The fourth week in Lent, threescore thousand years of pardon, besides 
a remission of two-thirds of all their sins, and one plenary remission, 
and one soul delivered. The fifth week, seventy-nine thousand years 
of pardon, and the deliverance of two souls ; only the two thousand 
seven hundred years that are given for the Sunday, may be had twice 
that day, if they will visit the altar twice, and as many quarantines. 
The sixth week, two hundred and five thousand years, besides 
quarantines, and four plenary pardons. Only on Palm Sunday, whose 
portion is twenty-five thousand yeai"s, it may be had twice that day. 
And all this is the price of him that shall, upon these days, visit the 
altar in the Church of St. Hilary. And this runs on to tlie Fridays, 
and many festivals and other solemn days in the other parts of the 
year." — Jer. 2'aylor, vol. xi. pp. 53 — 56. 

[The doctrine then of pardons, spoken of in the Article, 
is the doctrine maintained and acted on in the Roman 
Church, that remission of the penalties of sin in the next 
life may be obtained by the power of the Pope, with such 
abuses as money payments consequent thereupon \] 

3. Veneration and worshipping of Images and Relics. 

That the Homilies do not altogether discard reverence 
towards relics, has already been shown. Now let us see 
what they do discard. 

"What meaueth it that Christian men, after the use of the Gentiles 
idolaters, cap and kneel hefore images? which, if they had any sense 

^ " The pardons then, spoken of in the Article, are large and 
reckless indulgences from the penalties of sin obtained on money 
payments." 1st ed. 

Images and Relics. S3 

and gratitude, would kneel before men, carpenters, masons, plasterers, 
founders, and goldsmiths, their makers and framers, by whose means 
they have attained this honour, which else should have been evil- 
favoured, and rude lumps of clay or plaster, pieces of timber, stone, or 
metal, without shape or fashion, and so without all estimation and 
lionour, as that idol in the Pagan poet confesseth, saying, ' I was once 
a vile block, but now I am become a god,' &c. What a fond thing is 
it for man, who hath life and reason, to bow himself to a dead and 
insensible image, the work of his own hand ! Is not this stooping and 
kneeling before them, which is forbidden so earnestly by Gods word? 
Let such as so fall down before images of saints, know and confess 
that they exhibit that honour to dead stocks and stones, which the 
saints themselves, Peter, Paul, and Barnabas, would not to be given to 
them, being alive ; which the angel of God forbiddeth to be given to 
him. And if they say they exhibit such honour not to the image, but 
to the saint whom it representeth, they are convicted of folly, to 
believe that they please saints with that honour, which they abhor as 
a spoil of God's honour." — Homily on Peril of Idolatry, p. 191. 

Again : 

"Thus far Lactantius, and much more, too long here to write, of 
candle lighting in temples before images and idols for religion ; whereby 
appeareth both the foolishness thereof, and also that in opinion and act 
we do agree altogether in our candle-religion with the Gentiles 
idolaters. What meaneth it that they, after the example of the 
Gentiles idolaters, burn incense, offer up gold to images, hang up 
crutches, chains, and ships, legs, arms, and whole men and women of 
wax, before images, as though by them, or saints (as they say) they 
were delivered from lameness, sickness, captivity, or shipwreck? Is 
not this ' colere imagines,' to worship images, so earnestly forbidden in 
God's word? If they deny it, let them read the eleventh chapter of 
Daniel the Prophet, who saith of Antichrist, ' He shall worship God, 
whom his fathers knew not, with gold, silver, and with precious 
stones, and other things of pleasure :' in which place the Latin word 

is colet." "To increase this madness, wicked men, which have 

the keeping of such images, for their great lucre and advantage, after 
the example of the (lentiles idolaters, have reported and spread 
abroad, as well by lying tales as written fables, divers miracles of 
images : as that such an image miraculously was sent from heaven, 
even like the Palladium, or Magna Diana Ephesiorum. Such another 
was as miraculously found in the earth, as the man's head was in the 
Capitol, or the horse's head in Capua. Such an image was brought by 
angels. Such an one came itself far from the East to the West, as 
Dame Fortune fled to Rome. Such an image of our Lady was 


84f Images and Relics. 

painted by St. Luke, whom of a physician they have made a painter 
for tiiat purpose. Such an one an hundred yokes of oxen could not 
move, like Bona Dea, whom the ship could not carry ; or Jupiter 
Olympius, which laughed the artificers to scorn, that went about to 
remove him to Rome. Some images, though they were hard and 
stony, yet, for tender heart and pity, wept. Some, like Castor and 
Pollux, helping their friends in battle, sweat, as marble pillars do in 
dankish weather. Some spake more monstrously than ever did 
Balaam's ass, who had life and breath in him. Such a cripple came 
and saluted this saint of oak, and by and by he was made whole; and 
lo! here hangeth his crutch. Such an one in a tempest vowed to St. 
Christopher, and 'scaped ; and behold, here is a ship of wax. Such 
an one, by St. Leonard's help, brake out of prison, and see where 

his fetters hang," "The Relics we must kiss and offer unto, 

specially on Relic Sunday. And while we offer, (that we should not 
be weary, or repent us of our cost,) the music and minstrelsy goeth 
merrily all the offertory time, with praising and calling upon those 
saints, whose relics be then in presence. Yea, and the water also, 
wherein those relics have been dipped, must with great reverence be 

reserved, as very holy and effectuous." " Because Relics were 

so gainful, few places were there but they had Relics provided for 
them. And for more plenty of Relics, some one saint had many heads, 
one in one place, and another in another place. Some had six arms, 
and twenty-six fingers. And where our Lord bare His cross alone, 
if all the pieces of the relics thereof were gathered together, the 
greatest ship in England would scarcely bear them ; and yet the 
greatest part of it, they say, doth yet remain in the hands of the 
Infidels; for the which they pray in their beads-bidding, that they 
may get it also into their hands, for such godly use and purpose. 
And not only the bones of the saints, but every thing appertaining to 
them, was a holy relic. In some place they offer a sword, in some the 
scabbard, in some a shoe, in some a saddle that had been set upon 
some holy horse, in some the coals wherewith St. Laurence was roasted, 
in some place the tail of the ass which our Lord Jesus Christ sat on, 
to be kissed and offered unto for a relic. For rather than they would 
lack a relic, they would offer you a horse bone instead of a virgin's arm, 
or the tail of the ass to be kissed and offered unto for relics. O 
wicked, impudent, and most shameless men, the devisers of these 
things ! O silly, foolish, and dastardly daws, and more beastly than 

the ass whose tail they kissed, that believe such things! " "Of 

these things already rehearsed, it is evident that our image maintainers 
have not only made images, and set them up in temples, as did the 
Gentiles idolaters their idols; but also that they have had the same 
idolatrous opinions of the saints, to whom they have made images, 

Images and Belies. 35 

which the Gentiles idolaters had of their false gods ; and have not only 
worshipped their images with the same rites, ceresionies, superstition, 
and all circumstances, as did the Gentiles idolaters their idols, but in 
many points have also far exceeded them in all wickedness, foolish- 
ness, and madness." — Homily on Peril of Idolatry, pp. 193 — 197. 

It will be observed that in this extract, as elsewhere in 
the Homilies, it is implied that the Bishop or the Church 
of Rome is Antichrist ; but this is a statement bearing on 
prophetical interpretation, not on doctrine ; and one be- 
sides which cannot be reasonably brought to illustrate or 
explain any of the positions of the Articles : and therefore 
it may be suitably passed over. 

In another place the Homilies speak as follows: — 

" Our churches stand full of such great puppets, wondrously decked 
and adorned ; garlands and coronets be set on their heads, precious 
pearls hanging about their necks; their fingers shine with rings, set 
with precious stones ; their dead and stiff bodies are clothed with 
garments stiff with gold. You would believe that the images of our 
men-saints were some princes of Persia land with their proud apparel ; 
and the idols of our women-saints were nice and well-irimmed harlots, 
tempting their paramours to wantonness : whereby the saints of God 
are not honoured, but most dishonoured, and their godliness, sober- 
ness, chastity, contempt of riches, and of the vanity of the world, 
defaced and brought in doubt by such monstrous decking, most differing 
from their sober and godly lives. And because the whole pageant 
must thoroughly be played, it is not enough thus to deck idols, but at 
last come in the priests themselves, likewise decked with gold and 
pearl, that they may be meet servants for such lords and ladies, and 
fit worshippers of such gods and goddesses. And with a solemn pace 
they pass forth before these golden puppets, and fall down to the ground 
on their marrow-bones before these honourable idols; and then rising 
up again, offer up odours and incense unto them, to give the people an 
example of double idolatry, by worshipping not only the idol, but the 
gold also, and riches, wherewith it is garnished. Which thing, the 
most part of our old Martyrs, rather than they would do, or once 
kneel, or offer up one crumb of incense before an image, suffered most 
cruel and terrible deaths, as the histories of them at large do declare." 
" O books and scriptures, in the which the devilish school- 
master, Satan, hath penned the lewd lessons of wicked idolatry, for his 
dastardly disciples and scholars to behold, read, and learn, to God's 
most high dishonour, and their most horrible damnation ! Have we 
not boen much bound, think you, to those which should have taught 

D 2 

36 Images and Relics. 

us the truth out of God's Book and His Holy Scripture, that they have 
shut up that Book and Scripture from us, and none of us so bold as 
once to open it, or read in it ? And instead thereof, to spread us 
abroad these goodly, carved, and gilded books and painted scriptures, 
to teach us such good and godly lessons? Have not they done well, 
after they ceased to stand in pulpits themselves, and to teach the 
people committed to their instruction, keeping silence of Goo's word, 
and become dumb dogs, (as the Prophet calleth them,) to set up in 
their stead, on every pillar and corner of the church, such goodly 
doctors, as dumb, but more wicked than themselves be ? We need not 
to complain of the lack of one dumb parson, having so many dumb 
devilish vicars (I mean these idols and painted puppets) to teach in 
their stead. Now in the mean season, whilst the dumb and dead idols 
stand thus decked and clothed, contrary to God's law and command- 
ment, the poor Christian people, the lively images of God, commended 
to us so tenderly by our Saviour Christ, as most dear to Him, stand 
naked, shivering for cold, and their teeth chattering in their heads, 
and no man covereth them, are pined with hunger and thirst, and no 
man giveth them a penny to refresh them ; whereas pounds be ready 
at all times (contrary to God's word and will) to deck and trim dead 
stocks and stones, which neither feel cold, hunger, nor thirst." — 
Homily on Peril of Idolatry, pp. 219 — 222. 

Again, with a covert allusion to the abuses of the day, 
the Homilist says elsewhere, of Scripture, 

" There shall you read of Baal, Moloch, Chamos, Melchom, Baalpeor, 
Astaroth, Bel, the Dragon, Priapus, the brazen Serpent, the twelve 
Signs, and many others, unto whose images the people, with great 
devotion, invented pilgrimages, precious decking, and censing them, 
kneeling down, and offering to them, thinking that an high merit before 
God, and to be esteemed above the precepts and commaudraents of 
God." — Homily on Good Works, p. 42. 

Again, soon after : 

" What man, having any judgment or learning, joined with a true 
zeal unto God, doth not see and lament to have entered into Christ's 
religion, such false doctrine, superstition, idolatry, hypocrisy, and 
other enormities and abuses, so as by little and little, through the sour 
leaven thereof, the sweet bread of God's holy word hath been much 
hindered and laid apart? Never had the Jews, in their most blindness, 
so many pilgrimages unto images, nor used so much kneeling, kissing, 
and censing of them, as hath been used in our time. Sects and feigned 
religions were neither the fortieth part so many among the Jews, nor 
more superstitiously and ungodly abused, than of late years they have 

Images and Belies. 37 

been among us : which sects and religions had so many hypocritical 
and feigned works in their state of religion, as they arrogantly named 
it, that their lamps, as they said, ran always over, able to satisfy not 
only for their own sins, but also for all other their benefactors, 
brothers, and sisters of religion, as most ungodly and craftily they had 
persuaded the multitude of ignorant people; keeping in divers places, 
as it were, marts or markets of merits, being full of their holy relics, 
images, shrines, and works of overflowing abundance, ready to be sold ; 
and all things which they had were called holy — holy cowls, holy 
girdles, holy pardons, holy beads, holy shoes, holy rules, and all full 
of holiness. And what thing can be more foolish, more superstitious, 
or ungodly, than that men, women, and children, should wear a friar's 
coat to deliver them from agues or pestilence ; or when they die, or 
when they be buried, cause it to be cast upon them, in hope thereby to 
be saved? Which superstition, although (thanks be to God) it hath 
been little used in this realm, yet in divers other realms it hath been, 
and yet is, used among many, both learned and unlearned." — Homily 
on Good Works, pp. 45, 46. 

[Once more : — 

"True religion then, and pleasing of God, standeth not in making, 
setting up, painting, gilding, clothing, and decking of dumb and dead 
images (which be but great puppets and babies for old fools in dotage, 
and wicked idolatry, to dally and play with), nor in kissing of them, 
capping, kneeling, offering to them, incensing of them, setting up of 
candles, hanging up of legs, arms, or whole bodies of wax before 
them, or praying or asking of them, or of saints, things belonging only 
to God to give. But all these things be vain and abominable, and 
most damnable before God." — Homily on Peril of Idolatry, p. 223,] 

Now the veneration and worship condemned in these and 
other passages are such as these : kneeUng before images, 
lighting candles to them, offering them incense, going on 
pilgrimage to them, hanging up crutches, &;c. before them, 
lying tales about them, belief in miracles as if wrought by 
them through illusion of the devil, decking them up im- 
modestly, and providing incentives by them to bad passions ; 
and, in like manner, merry music and minstrelsy, and li- 
centious practices in honour of relics, counterfeit relics, 
multiplication of them, absurd pretences about them. This 
is what the Article means by "the Romish doctrine," 
which, in agreement to one of the above extracts, it calls 
"a fond thing," resfutilis; for who can ever hope, except 

38 Invocation of Saints, 

the grossest and most blinded minds, to be gaining the 
favour of the blessed saints, while they come with unchaste 
thoughts and eyes, that cannot cease from sin ; and to be 
profited by " pilgrimage-going," in which " Lady Venus 
and her son Cupid were rather worshipped wantonly in the 
flesh, than God the Father, and our Saviour Christ His 
Sox, truly worshipped in the Spirit?" 

Here again it is remarkable that, urged by the truth of 
the allegation, the Council of Trent is obliged, both to 
confess the above-mentioned enormities in the veneration 
of relics and images, and to forbid them. 

" Into these holy and salutary observances should any abuses creep, 
of these the Holy Council strongly [vehementer] desires the utter 
extinction ; so that no images of a false doctrine, and supplying to the 

uninstructed opportunity of perilous error, should be set up 

All superstition also in invocation of saints, veneration of relics, and 
sacred use of images, be put away ; &\\ filthij lucre be cast out of doors ; 
and all wantonness be avoided; so that images be not painted or adorned 
with an immodest beauty ; or the celebration of Saints and attendance 
on Relics be abused to revelries and drunkenness ; as though festival 
days were kept in honour of saints by luxury and lasciviousness." — 
Sess. 25. 

[On the whole, then, by the Romish doctrine of the 
veneration and worshipping of images and relics, the Article 
means all maintenance of those idolatrous honours which 
have been and are paid them so commonly throughout the 
Church of Rome, with the superstitions, profanities, and 
impurities consequent thereupon.] 

4. Invocation of Saints. 

By "invocation" here is not meant the mere circum- 
stance of addressing beings out of sight, because we use 
the Psalms in our daily service, which are frequent in in- 
vocations of Angels to praise and bless God. In the 
Benedicite too we address "the spirits and souls of the 
righteous. "* 

Nor is it a "fond" invocation to pray that unseen beings 
may bless us; [for this Bishop Ken does in his Evening 
Hymn : — 

Invocation 0/ Saints. S9 

O may my Guardian, while I sleep, 
Close to my bed his vigils keep, 
His love angelical instil, 
Stop all the avenues of ill, &c.] • 

On the other hand, judging from the example set us in 
the Homihes themselves, invocations are not censurable, 
and certainly not "fond," if we mean nothing definite by 
them, addressing them to beings which we hiow cannot 
hear, and using them as interjections. The Homilist seems 
to avail himself of this proviso in a passage, which will serve 
to begin our extracts in illustration of the superstitious use 
of invocations. 

" We have left Him neither heaven, nor earth, nor water, nor 
country, nor city, peace nor war to rule and govern, neither men, nor 
beasts, nor their diseases to cure; tliat a godly man might justly, for 
zealous indignation, cry out, heaven, O earth, and sea^^, what 
madness and wickedness against God are men fallen into! What 
dishonour do the creatures to their Creator and Maker I And if we 
remember God sometimes, yet, because we doubt of His ability or will 
to help, we join to Him another helper, as if He were a noun 
adjective, using these sayings : such as learn, God and St. Nicholas be 
my speed : such as neese, God help and St. John : to the horse, God 
and St. Loy save thee. Thus ai-e we become like horses and mules, 
which have no understanding. For is there not one God only, who by 
His power and wisdom made all things, and by His providence 
governeth the same, and by His goodness maintaineth and saveth 
them? Be not all things of Him, by Him, and through Him? Why 
dost thou turn from the Creator to the creatures? This is the 
manner of the Gentiles idolaters : but thou art a Christian, and there- 
fore by Christ alone hast access to God the Father, and help of Him 
only." — Homily on Peril oj Idolatry, p. 189. 

Again, just before : 

" Terentius Varro sheweth, that there were three hundred Jupiters 
in his time : there were no fewer Veneres and Diana; : we had no 
fewer Christophers, Ladies, and Mary Magdalens, and other saints. 
Qinomaus and Hesiodus shew, that in their time there were thirty 
thousand gods. I think we had no fewer saints, to whom we gave the 
honour due to God. And they have not only spoiled the true living 

' [A passage here occurred in 1st edition upon Rev. i. 4, in which the 
author still thinks that " the seven spirits " are seven created angels.} 
' O ccelum, terra, niaria Neptuni. Terent. Adelph. v. 3. 

40 Invocation of Saints. 

God of His due honour in temples, cities, countries and lands, by such 
devices and inventions as the Gentiles idolaters have done before 
them : but the sea and waters have as well special saints with them, 
as they had gods with the Gentiles, Neptune, Triton, Nereus, Castor 
and Pollux, Venus, and such other : in whose places be come St. 
Christopher, St. Clement, and divers other, and specially our Lady, to 
whom shipmen sing, • Ave, maris stella.' Neither hath the fire 
escaped their idolatrous inventions. For, instead of Vulcan and 
Vesta, the Gentiles' gods of the fire, our men have placed St. Agatha, 
and make litters on her day for to quench fire with. Every artificer 
and profession hath his special saint, as a peculiar god. As for 
example, scholars have St. Nicholas and St. Gregory : painters, St. 
Luke ; neither lack soldiers their Mars, nor lovers their Venus, 
amongst Christians. All diseases have their special saints, as gods 

the curers of them ; the falling-evil St. Cornelio, the tooth-ache 

St. Apollin, &c. Neither do beasts nor cattle lack their gods with us ; 
for St. Loy is the horse-leech, and St. Anthony the swineherd." — 
Ibid., p. 188, 

The same subject is introduced in connexion with a lament 
over the falling off of attendance on religious worship con- 
sequent upon the Reformation : 

" God's vengeance hath been and is daily provoked, because much 
wicked people pass nothing to resort to the Church, either for that 
they are so sore blinded, that they understand nothing of God and 
godliness, and care not with devilish example to offend their neigh- 
bours ; or else for that they see the Church altogether scoured of such 
gay gozing sights, as their gross fantasy was greatly delighted with, 
because they see the false religion abandoned, and the true restored, 
which seemeth an unsavoury thing to their unsavoury taste ; as may 
appear by this, that a woman said to her neighbour, ' Alas, gossip, 
what shall we now do at church, since all the saints are taken awaj', 
since all the goodly sights we were wont to have are gone, since we 
cannot hear the like piping, singing, chanting, and playing upon the 
organs, that we could before ? ' But, dearly beloved, we ought greatly 
to rejoice, and give God thanks, that our churches are delivered of all 
those things which displeased God so sore, and filthily defiled His 
house and His place of prayer, for the which He hath justly destroyed 
many nations, according to the saying of St. Paul : ' If any man 
defile the temple of God, God will him destroy.' And this ought we 
greatly to praise God for, that superstitiozis and idolatrous manners as 
were utterly naught, and defaced God's glory, are utterly abolished, 
as they most justly deserved : and yet those things that either God 
was honoured with, or His people edified, are decently retained, and iu 

Invocation of Saints, 4 1 

our churches comely practised." — On the Place and Time of Prayer, 
pp. 293, 294. 

Again : 

"There are certain conditions most requisite to be found in every 
such a one that must be called upon, which if they be not found in 
Him unto whom we pray, then doth our prayer avail us nothing, but is 
altogether in vain, 

" The first is this, that He, to whom we make our prayers, be able 
to help us. The second is, that He will help us. The third is, that 
He be such a one as may hear our prayers. The fourth is, that He 
understand better than ourselves what we lack, and how far we have 
need of help. If these things be to be found in any other, saving 
only God, then may we lawfully call upon some other besides God. 
But what man is so gross, but he well understandeth that these 
things are only proper to Him, who is omnipotent, and knoweth all 
things, even the very secrets of the heart ; that is to say, only and to 
God alone ? Whereof it followeth that we must call neither upon 
angel, nor yet upon saint, but only and solely upon God, as St. Paul 
doth write : ' How shall men call upon Him, in whom they have not 
believed?' So that invocation or prayer may not be made without 
faith in Him on whom they call ; but that we must first believe in Him 
before we can make our prayer unto Him, whereupon we must only 
and solely pray unto God. For to say that we should believe in either 
angel or saint, or in any other living creature, were most horrible 
blasphemy agamst God and His holy word; neither ought this fancy to 
enter into the heart of any Christian man, because we are expressly 
taught in the word of the Lord only to repose our faith in the blessed 
Trinity, in whose only name we are also baptized, according to the 
express commandment of our Saviour Jesus Christ, in the last of St. 

" But that the truth thereof may better appear, even to them that be 
most simple and unlearned, let us consider what prayer is. St. 
Augustine calieth it a lifting up of the mind to God; that is to say, 
an humble and lowly pouring out of the heart to God. Isidorus saith, 
that it is an aifection of the heart, and not a labour of the lips. So 
that, by these plans, true prayer doth consist not so much in the 
outward sound and voice of words, as in the inward groaning and 
crying of the heart to God. 

" Now, then, is there any angel, any virgin, any patriarch, or 
prophet, among the dead, that can understand or know the meaning 
of the heart? The Scripture saith, 'it is God that searcheth the 
heart and reins, and that He only knoweth the hearts of the children 
of men.' As for the saints, they have so little knowledge of the 
secrets of the heart, that many of the ancient fathers greatly doubt 

42 Invocation 0/ Saints. 

whether they know any thing at all, that is commonly done on earth. 
And albeit some think they do, yet St. Augustine, a doctor of great 
authority, and also antiquity, hath this opinion of them ; that they 
know no more what we do on earth, than we know what they do in 
heaven. For proof whereof, he allegeth the words of Isaiah the 
prophet, where it is said, ' Abraham is ignorant of us, and Israel 
knoweth us not.' His mind therefore is this, not that we should put 
any religion in worshipping them, or praying luito them ; but that we 
should honour them by following their virtuous and godly life. For, 
as he witnesseth in another place, the martyrs, and holy men in time 
past, were wont, after their death, to be remembered and named of the 
priest at divine service ; but never to be invocated or called upon. 
And why so? Because the priest, saith he, is God's priest, and not 
theirs: whereby he is bound to call upon God, and not upon them. 

O but I dare not (will some man say) trouble God at all times 

•with my prayers : we see that in kings' houses, and courts of princes, 
men cannot be admitted, unless they first use the help and means of 
some special nobleman, to come to the speech of the king, and to 
obtain the thing that they would have. 

" Christ, sitting in heaven, hath an everlasting priesthood, and 
always prayeth to His Father for them that be penitent, obtaining, 
by virtue of His wounds, which are evermore in the sight of God, not 
only perfect remission of our sins, but also all other necessaries that 
we lack in this world ; so that this Holy Mediator is sufficient in 
heaven, and needeth no others to help Him. 

"Invocation is a i\\mg proper unto God, which if we attribute imto 
the saints, it soundeth unto their reproach, neither can they well bear 
it at our hands. When Paul healed a certain lame man, which was 
impotent in his feet, at Lystra, the people would have done sacrifice 
■unto him and Barnabas ; who, rending their clothes, refused it, and 
exhorted them to worship the true God. Likewise in the Revelation, 
when St. John fell before the angel's feet to worship him, the angel 
would not permit him to do it, but commanded him that he should 
worship God. Which examples declare unto us, that the saints and 
angels in heaven will not have us to do any honour unto them that is 
due and proper unto God." — Homily on Prayer, pp. 272 — 277. 

Whereas, then, it has already been shown that not all 
invocation is wrong, this last passage plainly tells us what 
kind of invocation is not allowable, or what is meant by 
invocation in its exceptionable sense : viz. " a thing proper 
to God," as being part of the " honour that is due and 
proper unto God." And two instances are specially given of 
such calling and invocating, viz., sacrificing^ BXid. falling down 

Invocation of Saints. 43 

in ivorsMp. Besides this, the Homilist adds, tliat it is 
wrong to pray to them for " necessaries in this world," and 
to accompany their services with " piping, singing, chanting, 
and playing " on the organ, and of invoking saints as patrons 
of particular elements, countries, arts, or remedies. 

Here again, as before, the Article gains a witness and 
concurrence from the Council of Trent. " Though," say 
the divines there assembled, " the Church has been accus- 
tomed sometimes to celebrate a few masses to the honour 
and remembrance of saints, yet she doth not teach that sa- 
crifice is offered to them^ but to God alone, who crowned 
them ; wherefore neither is the priest wont to say, / offer 
sacrifice to thee, Peter, or Paul, but to God." (Sess. 22.) 

Or, to know what is meant by fond invocations, we may 
refer to the following passage of Bishop Andrew^s Answer 
to Cardinal Perron : — 

"This one point is needful to be observed tbrougbout all the 
Cardinal's answer, that he hath framed to himself five distinctions: — 
(1.) Prayer direct, and prayer oblique, or indirect. (2.) Prayer 
absolute, and prayer relative. (3.) Prayer sovereign, and prayer 
subaltern. (4.) Prayer final, and prayer transitory. (5.) Prayer 
sacrificial, and prayer out of, or from the sacrifice. Prayer direct, 
absolute, final, sovereign, sacrificial, that must not be made to the 
saints, but to God only : but as for prayer oblique, relative, transitory, 
subaltern, from, or out of the sacrifice, that (saith he) we may make to 
the saints. 

" For all the world, like the question in Scotland, which was made 
some fifty years since, whether the Pater nosier might not be said to 
saints. For then they in like sort devised the distinction of — (1.) 
Ultimate, et non ultimate. (2.) Principaliter, et minus priiicipaliter. 
(3.) Primarie et secundarie : Capiendo stride et capiendo large. And 
as for ultimate, principaliter, primarie et capiendo stride, they conclude 
it must go to God : but non ultimate, minus principaliter, secundarie, et 
capiendo large, it might be allowed saints. 

"Yet it is sure, that in these distinctions is the whole substance of 
his answer. And whensoever he is pressed, he flees strtigV.t to his 
prayer relative and prayer transitory ; as if prier pour prior were all 
the Church of Rome did hold ; and that they made no prayers to the 
saints, but only to pray for them. The Bishop well remembers, that 
Master Casaubon more than once told him that reasoning with the 
Cardinal, touching the invocation of saints, the Cardinal freely 

44 Invocation of Saints. 

confessed to him that he had never pratjed to mint in all his life, save 
only when he happened to follow the procession ; and that then he sung 
Ora pro nobis with the clerks indeed, but else not. 

*' Which Cometh much to this opinion he now seemeth to defend : 
but wherein others of the Church of Rome will surely give him over, 
so that it is to be feared that the Cardinal will be shent for this, and 
tome censure come out against him by the Sorbonne. For the world 
cannot believe that oblique relative prayer is all that is sought ; seeing 
it is most evident, by their breviaries, hours, and rosaries, that they 
pray directly, absolutely, and finally to saints, and make no mention at 
all of prier pour prier, to pray to God to forgive them; but to the 
saints, to give it themselves. So that all he saith comes to nothing. 
They say to the blessed Virgin, ' Sancta Maria,' not only ' Ora pro 
nobis:' but ' Succurre miseris, juva pusillanimes, refove flebiles, 
accipe quod ofTerimus, dona quod rogamus, excusa quod timemus,' 
&c. &c 

" All which, and many more, shew plainly that the practice of the 
Church of Rome, in this point of invocation of saints, is far otherwise 
than Cardinal Perron would bear the world in hand ; and that prier 
pour prier is not all, but that ' Tu dona coelum, Tu laxa, Tu sana, Tu 
solve crimina, Tu due, conduc, indue, perdue ad gloriam ; Tu serva, 
Tu fer opem, Tu aufer, Tu confer vitam,' are said to them {totidem 
verbis) : more than which cannot be said to God Himself. And again, 
' Hie nos solvat a peccatis. Hie nostros tergat reatus. Hie arma 
conferat, Hie hostem fuget. Hie gubernet. Hie aptet tuo conspectui;' 
which if they be not direct and absolute, it would be asked of them, 
what is absolute or direct ? " — Bishop Andrews's Answer to Chapter XX. 
of Cardinal Perron's Reply, pp. 57 — 62. 

Bellarmine''s admissions quite bear out the principles laid 
down by Bishop Andrews and the Homilist : — 

" It is not lawful," he says, "to ask of the saints to grant to us, as 
if they were the authors of divine benefits, glory or grace, or the other 

means of blessedness This is proved, first, from Scripture, 

' The Lord will give grace and glory.' (Psal. Ixxxiv.) Secondly, 
from the usage of the Cliurch ; for in the mass-prayers, and the saints' 
oflSces, we never ask any thing else, but that at their prayers, benefits 
may be granted to us by God. Thirdly, from reason : for what we 
need surpasses the powers of the creature, and therefore even of saints; 
therefore we ought to ask nothing of saints beyond their impetrating 
from God what is profitable for us. Fourthly, from Augustine and 
Theodoret, who expressly teach that saints are not to be invoked as 
gods, but as able to gain from God what they wish. However, it must 
be observed, when we say, that nothing should be asked of saints but 

The. Sacraments. 45 

their prayers for us, the question is not about the words, but the sense 
of the words. For, as far as words go, it is lawful to say : ' St, Peter, 
pity me, save me, open for me the gate of heaven;' also, 'give me 
health of body, patience, fortitude,' &c., provided that we mean 'save 
and pity me hy praying for me ;' 'grant me this or that by thy prayers 
and merits.' For so speaks Gregory Nazianzen, and many others of 
the ancients, &c." — De Sanct. Beat. i. 17. 

[By the doctrine of the invocation of saints then, the 
Article means all maintenance of addresses to them which 
intrench upon the incommunicable honour due to God 
alone, such as have been, and are in the Church of Eome, 
and such as, equally with the peculiar doctrine of purgatory, 
pardons, and worshipping and adoration of images and 
relics, as actually taught in that Church, are unknown to the 
CathoHc Church.] 

§ 7. — The Sacraments. 

Art. XXV. — " Those five, commonly called Sacraments, 
that is to say. Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, 
and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacra- 
ments of the Gospel, being such as have grown, partly of 
the corrupt following (prava imitatione) of the Apostles, 
partly from states of life allowed in the Scriptures ; but 
yet have not like nature of sacraments, (sacramentorura 
eandem rationem,) with Baptism and the Lord's Supper, 
for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained 
of God." 

This Article does not deny the five rites in question to 
be sacraments, but to be sacraments in the sense in which 
Baptism and the Lord"'s Supper are sacraments; "sacra- 
ments of the Gospely'' sacraments with an outward sign 
ordained of God. 

They are not sacraments in any sense, unless the Church 
has the power of dispensing grace through rites of its own 
appointing, or is endued with the gift of blessing and 
hallowing the "rites or ceremonies'" which, according to 

46 The Sacraments. 

the Twentieth Article, it " hath power to decree.*" But we 
may well believe that the Church has this gift. 

If, then, a sacrament be merely an outward sign of an 
invisible grace given under it, the five rites may be sacra- 
ments ; but if it must be an outward sign ordained hy God 
or Christ, then only Baptism and the Lord's Supper are 

Our Church acknowledges both definitions; — in the Article 
before us, the stricter ; and again in the Catechism, where a 
sacrament is defined to be " an outward visible sign of an 
inward spiritual grace, given unto us, ordained by Christ 
Himself.'''' And this, it should be remarked, is a characteristic 
of our formularies in various places, not to deny the truth 
or obligation of certain doctrines or ordinances, but simply 
to deny, (what no Koman opponent now can successfully 
maintain,) that Christ for certain directly ordained them. 
For instance, in regard to the visible Church it is sufficient 
that the ministration of the sacraments should be " according 
to Christ's ordinance.'''' Art. xix. — And it is added, "in 
all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same." 
The question entertained is, " what is the least that God 
requires of us." Again, "the baptism of young children 
is to be retained, as most agreeable to the institution of 
Christ." Art. xxvii. — Again, " the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried 
about, lifted up, or worshipped." Art. xxviii. — Who will 
maintain the paradox that what the Apostles " set in order 
when they came " had been already done by Christ ? Again, 
" both parts of the Lord's sacrament, by Christ's ordinance 
and commandment, ought to be administered to all Christian 
men alike." Art. xxx. — Again, " bishops, priests, and 
deacons, are not commanded by God's law either to vow the 
estate of single life or to abstain from marriage." Art. 
xxxii. — [In making this distinction, however, it is not here 
insinuated, though the question is not entered on in these 
particular Articles, that every one of these points, of which 
it is only said that they are not ordained by Christ, is 
justifiable on grounds short of His appointment.] 

The Sacraments. 47 

On the other hand, our Church takes the wider sense 
of the meaning of the word sacrament in the HomiHes ; 
observing — 

" In the second Book against the Adversary of the Law and the 
Prophets, he [St. Augustine) calleth sacraments holy signs. And 
writing to Bonifacius of the baptism of infants, he saith, * If sacraments 
had not a certain similitude of those things whereof they be sacraments, 
they should be no sacraments at all. And of this similitude they do 
for the most part receive the names of the self-same things they 
signify.' By these words of St. Augustine it appeareth, that he 
alloweth the common description of a sacrament, which is, that it is a 
visible sign of an invisible grace ; that is to say, that setteth out to the 
eyes and other outward senses the inward working of God's free 
mercy, and doth, as it were, seal in our hearts the promises of God." — 
Homily on Common Prayer and Sacraments, pp. 296, 297. 

Accordingly, starting with this definition of St. Augus- 
tine's, the writer is necessarily carried on as follows : — 

" You shall hear how many sacraments there be, that were instituted 
by our Saviour Christ, and are to be continued, and received of 
every Christian in due time and order, and for such purpose as our 
Saviour Christ willed them to be received. And as for the number 
of them, if they should be considered according to the exact signifi- 
cation of a sacrament, namely, for visible signs expressly commanded 
in the New Testament^ whereunto is annexed the promise of free 
forgiveness of our sins, and of our holiness and joining in Christ, 
tliere be but two ; namely, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord. For 
although absolution hath the promise of forgiveness of sin; yet by the 
express word of the New Testament, it hath not this promise annexed 
and tied to the visible sign, which is imposition of hands. For this 
visible sign (I mean laying on of hands) is not expressly commanded 
in the New Testament to be used in absolution, as the visible signs in 
Baptism and the Lord's Supper are : and therefore absolution is no 
such Siicrament as Baptism and the Communion are. And though the 
ordering of ministers hath this visible sign and promise; yet it lacks 
the promise of remission of sin, as all other sacraments besides the 
two above named do. Therefore neither it, nor any other sacrament 
else, be such sacraments as Baptism and the Communion are. But in 
a general acception, the name of a sacrament may be attributed to any 
thing, whereby an holy thing is signified. In which understanding of 
the word, the ancient writers have given this name, not only to the 
other five, commonly of late years taken and used for supplying the 
number of the seven sacraments ; but also to divers and sundry other 

48 The Sacraments. 

ceremonies, as to oil, washing of feet, and such like; not meaning 
thereby to repute them as sacraments, in the same signification that the 
two forenamed sacraments are. And therefore St. Augustine, weighing 
the true signification and exact meaning of the word, writing to 
Januarius, and also in the third Book of Christian Doctrine, afBrmeth, 
that the sacraments of the Christians, as they are most excellent in 
signification, so are they most few in number, and in both places 
maketh mention expressly of two, the sacrament of Baptism, and the 
Supper of the Lokd. And although there are retained by order of the 
Church of England, besides these two, certain other rites and 
ceremonies, about the institution of ministers in the Church, Matrimony, 
Confirmation of Children, by examining them of their knowledge in 
the Articles of the Faith, and joining thereto the prayers of the 
Church for them, and likewise for the Visitation of the Sick ; yet no 
man ought to take these for sacraments, in such signification and 
meaning as the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper are : 
but either for godly states of life, necessary in Christ's Church, and 
therefore worthy to be set forth by public action and solemnity, by 
the ministry of the Church, or else judged to be svich ordinances as 
may make for the instruction, comfort, and edification of Christ's 
Church." — Homily on Common Prayer and Sacraments, pp. 298 — 300. 

Another definition of the word sacrament, which equally 
succeeds in limiting it to the two principal rites of the 
Christian Church, is also contained in the Catechism, as 
well as alluded to in the above passage : — " Two only, as 
generally necessary to salvation, Baptism and the Supper of 
the Lord." On this subject the following remark has been 
made : — 

"The Roman Catholic considers that there are seven 
[sacraments] ; we do not strictly determine the number. 
We define the word generally to be an ' outward sign of an 
inward grace,"" without saying to how many ordinances this 
applies. However, what we do determine is, that Christ 
has ordained two special sacraments, as generally necessary 
to salvation. This, then, is the characteristic mark of those 
two, separating them from all other whatever ; and this is 
nothing else but saying in other words that they are the 
only justifying rites, or instruments of communicating the 
Atonement, which is the one thing necessary to us. Ordi- 
nation, for instance, gives power, yet without making the 

Transuhstaniiation. 49 

soul acceptable to God ; Confirmation gives liffht and 
strength, yet is the mere completion of ]3aptism ; and Abso- 
lution may be viewed as a negative ordinance removing the 
harrier which sin has raised between us and that grace, 
which by inheritance is ours. But the two sacraments ' of 
the Gospel,' as they may be emphatically styled, are the 
instruments of inward life, according to our Lord's de- 
claration, that Baptism is a new birth, and that in the 
Eucharist we eat the living bread." 

§ 8. — Transuhstaniiation. 

Article xxviii. — " Transubstantiation, or the change of 
the substance of bread and wine, in the Supper of the Lord, 
cannot be proved by Holy Writ ; but is repugnant to the 
plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a sacra- 
ment, and hath given occasion to many superstitions." 

What is here opposed as " Transubstantiation," is the 
shocking doctrine that#" the body of Christ," as the Article 
goes on to express it, is not " given, taken, and eaten, after 
an heavenly and spiritual manner, but is carnally pressed 
with the teeth ;" that It is a body or substance of a certain 
extension and bulk in space, and a certain figure and due 
disposition of parts, whereas we hold that the only substance 
such, is the bread which we see. 

This is plain from Article xxix., which quotes St. Au- 
gustine as speaking of the wicked as " carnally and visibly 
pressing with their teeth the sacrament of the body and 
blood of Christ," not the real substance, a statement 
which even the Breviary introduces into the service for 
Corpus Christi day. 

This is plain also from the words of the Homily: — 
" Saith Cyprian, ' When we do these things, we need not 
whet our teeth, but with sincere faith we break and divide 
that holy bread. It is well known that the meat wc seek in 


50 Transubstantiaiion. 

this supper is spiritual food, the nourishment of the soul, a 
heavenly refection, and not earthly ; an invisible meat, and 
not a bodily ; a ghostly substance, and not carnal.'' " 

Some extracts may be quoted to the same effect from 
Bishop Taylor. Speaking of what has been believed in tlie 
Church of Rome, he says : — 

"Sometimes Christ hatli appeai-ed in His own shape, and blood 
and flesh hath been pulled out of the mouths of the communicants : 
and Plegilus, the priest, saw an angel, showing Chiust to him in form 
of a child upon the altar, whom first he took in his arms and kissed, 
but did eat him up presently in his other shape, in the shape of a 
wafer. ' Speciosa certe pax nebulonis, ut qui oris prsebuerat basiuni, 
dentium inferret exitium,' said Berengarius : ' It was but a Judas' 
kiss to kiss with the lip, and bite with the teeth.'" — Bp. Taylor, 
vol. X. p. 12. 

Again : — 

" Yet if this and the other miracles pretended, had not been illusions 
or directly fabulous, it had made very much against the present 
doctrine of the Roman Church ; for they represent the body in such 
measure, as by their explications it is not, and it cannot be : they 
represent it broken, a finger, or a piece of flesh, or bloody, or 
bleeding, or in the form of an infant ; and then, when it is in the 
species of bread : for if, as they say, Christ's body is present no 
longer than the form of bread remained, how can it be Christ's body 
in the miracle, when the species being gone, it is no longer a sacra- 
ment? But the dull inventors of miracles in those ages considered 
nothing of this ; the article itself was then gross and rude, and so were 
the instruments of probation. I noted this, not only to show at what 
door so incredible a persuasion entered, but that the zeal of prevailing 
in it hath so blinded the refiners of it in this age, that they still 
urge those miracles for proof, when, if they do any thing at all, 
they reprove the present doctrine." — Bp. Taylor's Works, vol. ix. 
p. ccccxi. 

Again : the change which is denied in the Article is ac- 
curately specified in another passage of the same author : — 

"I will not insist upon the unworthy questions which this carnal 
doctrine introduces . . . neither will I make scrutiny concerning 
Christ's bones, hair, and nails; nor suppose the Roman priests to be 
such Kapxa^otovnq, and to have such 'saws in their mouths:' these 
are appendages of their persuasion, but to be abominated by all 
Christian and modvst persons, who use to eat not the bodies but the 

Transuhstantiation, 51 

flesh of beasts, and not to devour, but to worship the body of Christ in 
the exaltation, and now in union with His divinity." — On the Real 
Presence, 11. 

And again : — 

"They that deny the spiritual sense, and affirm the natural, are to 
remember that Christ reproved all senses of these words that were 
not spiritual. And by tlie way let me observe, that the expressions of 
some chief men among the Romanists are so rude and crass, that it 
will be impossible to excuse them from the imderstanding the words in the 
sense of the men of Capernaum ; for, as they understood Christ to 
mean His ' true flesh natural and proper,' so do they : as they thought 
Christ intended tlioy should tear Him with their teeth and suck His 
blood, for which they were offended ; so do these men not only think 
so, but say so, and are not offended. So said Alanus, ' Apertissime 
loquimur, corpus Christi vera a nobis contrectari, manducari, circum- 
gestari, dentibus teri [ground by the teeth"], sensibiliter sacrificari 
[sensibly sacrificed], non minus quam ante consecrationem panis,' [not 
less than the bread before consecration] ... I thought that the Ro- 
manists had been glad to separate their own opinion from the carnal 
conceit of the men of Capernaum and the offended disciples .... 
but I find that Bellarmine owns it, even in them, in their rude 
circumstances, for he affirms that ' Christ corrected them not for 
supposing so, but reproved them for not believing it to be so.' And 
indeed himself says as much : ' The body of Christ is truly and 
properly manducated or chetved with the bread in the Eucharist;' and 
to take off the foulness of the expression, by avoiding a worse, he is 
pleased to speak nonsense: ' A thing may be manducated or chewed, 
though it be not attrite or broken.' . . . But Bellarmine adds, that if 
you will not allow him to say so, then he grants it in plain terms, that 
Christ's body is chewed, is attrite, or broken with the teeth, and that 
not tropically, but properly. . . . How? under the species of bread, 
and invisibly." — Ibid. 3. 

Take again the statement of Ussher :— 

" Paschasius Radbertus, who was one of the first setters forward of 
this doctrine in the West, spendeth a large chapter upon this point, 
wherein he telleth us, that Christ in the sacrament did show himself 
'oftentimes in a visible shape, either in the form of a lamb, or in the 
colour of flesh and blood ; so that while the host was a breaking or an 
ofFering, a lamb in the priest's hands, and blood in the chalice should 
be seen as it were flowing from the sacrifice, that what lay hid in a 
mystery might to them that yet doubted be made manifest in a 
miracle.' .... The first [tale] was .... of a Roman matron, who 
found a piece of the sacramental bread turned into the fashion of a 

E 2 

52 Transubstaniiation. 

finger, all bloody; which afterwards, upon the prayers of St. Gregory, 
was converted to its former shape again. The other two were first 

coined by the Grecian liars The former of these is not only 

related there, but also in the legend of Simeon Metaphrastes (which is 
such another author among the Grecians as Jacobus de Voragine was 
among the Latins) in the life of Arsenius, .... how that a little 
child was seen upon the altar, and an angel cutting him into small 
pieces with a knife, and receiving his blood into the chalice, as long 
as the priest was breaking the bread into little parts. The latter is of 
a certain Jew, receiving the sacrament at St. Basil's hands, converted 
visibly into true flesh and blood."— t/wAer's Answer to a Jesuit, pp. 

Or the following : — 

"When St. Odo was celebrating the mass in the presence of certain 
of the clergy of Canterbury, (who maintained that the bread and wine, 
after consecration, do remain in their former substance, and are not 
Christ's true body and blood, but a figure of it:) when he was come 
to confraction, presently the fragments of the body of Christ which 
he held in his hands, began to pour forth blood into the chalice. 
Whereupon he shed tears of joy; and beckoning to them that wavered 
in their faith, to come near and see the wonderful work of Goo; as 
soon as they beheld it they cried out, * O holy Prelate ! to whom the 
Son of God has been pleased to reveal Himself visibly in the flesh, 
pray for us, that the blood we see here present to our eyes, may again 
be changed, lest for our unbelief the Divine vengeance fall upon us.' 
He prayed accordingly ; after which, looking in the chalice, he saw 
the species of bread and Avine, where he had left blood 

"St. Wittekundus, in the administration of the Eucharist, saw a 
child enter into every one's mouth, playing and smiling when some 
received him, and with an abhorring countenance when he went into 
the mouths of others; Christ thus showing this saint in His coun- 
tenance, who were worthy, and who unworthy receivers." — Johnson's 
Miracles of Saints, pp. 27, 28. 

The same doctrine was imposed by Nicholas the Second 
on Berengarius, as the confession of the latter shows, 
which runs thus : — 

" I, Berengarius .... anathematize every heresy, and more par- 
ticularly that of which I have hitherto been accused .... I agree 
with the Roman Church .... that the bread and wine which are 
placed on the altar are, after consecration, not only a sacrament, but 
even the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that 
these are sensibly, and not merely sacramentally, but in truth, handled 

Transuhstantiation. 53 

and broken, by the hands of the priest, and (/round by the teeth of the 
faithful." — Bowden's Life of Gregory VII., vol. ii. p. 243. 

Another illustration of the sort of doctrine offered in the 
Article, may be given from Bellarmine, whose controversial 
statements have already been introduced in the course of 
the above extracts. He thus opposes the doctrine of in- 
trosusception, which the spiritual view of the Real Presence 
naturally suggests : — 

He observes, that there are "two particular opinions, 
false and erroneous, excogitated in the schools : that of 
Durandus, who thought it probable that the substance of 
the body of Christ in the Eucharist, was without magnitude ; 
and that of certain ancients, which Occam seems afterwards 
to have followed, that though it has magnitude, (which they 
think not really separable from substance,) yet every part 
is so penetrated by every other, that the body of Christ is 
without figure^ without distinction and order of parts." 
With this he contrasts the doctrine which, he maintains, is 
that of the Church of Rome as well as the general doctrine 
of the schools, that " in the Eucharist whole Christ exists 
with magnitude and all accidents, except that relation to a 
heavenly location which He has as He is in heaven, and 
those things which are concomitants on His existence in 
that location ; and that the parts and members of Christ s 
body do not penetrate each other, but are so distinct and 
arranged one with another, as to have a figure and order 
suitable to a human body." — De Eiichar. iii. 5. 

We see then, that, by transuhstantiation, our Article 
does not confine itself to any abstract theory, nor aim at 
any definition of the word substance, nor in rejecting it, 
rejects a word, nor in denying a " mutatio panis ct vini," is 
denying every kind of change, but opposes itself to a certain 
plain and unambiguous statement, not of this or that council, 
but one generally received or taught both in the schools and 
in the multitude, that the material elements are changed 
into an earthly, fleshly, and organized body, extended in 
size, distinct in its parts, which is there where <lie outward 

64 Transuhtaniiation. 

appearances of bread and wine are, and only does not meet 
the senses, nor even that always. 

Objections against "substance," "nature," "change," 
" accidents," and the like, seem more or less questions of 
words, and inadequate expressions of the great offence 
which we find in the received Roman view of this sacred 

In this connexion it may be suitable to proceed to notice 
the Explanation appended to the Communion Service, of 
our kneeling at the Lord's Supper, which requires expla- 
nation itself, more perhaps than any part of our formularies. 
It runs as follows : — 

" Whereas it is ordained in this office for the Ad- 
ministration of the Lord's Supper, that the communicants 
should receive the same kneeling : (which order is well 
meant, for a signification of our humble and grateful ac- 
knowledgement of the benefits of Christ therein given to 
all worthy receivers, and for the avoiding of such profanation 
and disorder in the holy communion, as might otherwise 
ensue ;) yet, lest the same kneeling should by any persons, 
either out of ignorance and infirmity, or out of malice and 
obstinacy, be misconstrued and depraved, — It is hereby 
declared, that thereby no adoration is intended, or ought to 
be done, either unto the sacramental bread or wine there 
bodily received, or unto any corporal presence of Christ's 
natural flesh and blood. For the sacramental bread and 
wine remain still in their very natural substances, and 
therefore may not be adored, (for that were idolatry, to be 
abhorred of all faithful Christians;) and the natural body 
and blood of our Saviour Christ are in heaven, and not 
here, it being against the truth of Christ's natural body to 
bo at one time in more places than one." 

Now it may be admitted without difficulty, — 1. That " no 
adoration ought to be done unto the sacramental bread and 
wine there bodily received." 2. Nor "unto any coriioral 
{%. e. carnal) presence of Christ's natural flesh and blood." 

Tramuhstantiation. 55 

S. That " the sacramental bread and wine remain still in 
their very natural substances." 4. That to adore them 
*' were idolatry to be abhorred of all faithful Christians ;" 
and 5. That "the natural body and blood of our Saviour 
Christ are in heaven." 

But " to heaven " is added, " and not Tiered Now, though 
it be allowed that there is no ^^ corporal presence" [?*. e. 
carnal] of " Christ's natural flesh and blood '"' here, it is a 
further point to allow that " Christ's natural body and 
blood " are " not herey And the question is, how can there 
be any presence at all of His body and blood, yet a presence 
such, as not to be here ? How can there be any presence^ 
yet not local? 

Yet that this is the meaning of the paragraph in question 
is plain, from what it goes on to say in proof of its position : 
" It being against the truth of Christ's natural body to be 
at one time in more places than one." It is here asserted 
then, 1 . Generally, " no natural body can be in more places 
than one ;" therefore, 2. Christ's natural body cannot be 
in the bread and wine, or there where the bread and wine 
are seen. In other words, there is no local presence in the 
Sacrament. Yet, that there is a presence is asserted in the 
Homilies, as quoted above, and the question is, as just 
now stated, " How can there be a presence, yet not a local 

Now, first, let it be observed that the question to be 
solved is the truth of a certain philosophical deduction, not 
of a certain doctrine of Scripture. That there is a real 
presence. Scripture asserts, and the Homilies, Catechism, 
and Communion Service confess ; but the explanation before 
us adds, that it is philosophically impossible that it should 
be a particular kind of presence, a presence of which one 
can say " it is here," or which is " local." It states then a 
philosophical deduction ; but to such deduction none of us 
have subscribed. AVe have professed in the words of the 
Canon : " That the Book of Prayer, &c. containeth in it 
nothing contrary to the word of God.'''' Now, a position like 
this may not be, and is not, " contrary to the word of 

56 Tramubsiantiation. ' 

God," and yet need not be true ; e. g. we may accept St. 
Clement's Epistle to the Corinthians, as containing nothing 
contrary to Scripture, nay, as altogether most scriptural, 
and yet this would not hinder us from rejecting the account 
of the Phoenix — as contrary, not to God's word, but to 
matter of fact. Even the infallibility of the Roman see is 
not considered to extend to matters of fact or points of 
philosophy. Nay, we commonly do not consider that we 
need take the words of Scripture itself literally about the 
sun's standing still, or the earth being fixed, or the firma- 
ment being above. Those at least who distinguish between 
what is theological in Scripture and what is scientific, and 
yet admit that Scripture is true, have no ground for 
wondering at such persons as subscribe to a paragraph, of 
which at the same time they disallow the philosophy ; 
especially considering they expressly subscribe it only as 
not "contrary to the word of God." This then is what 
must be said first of all. 

Next, the philosophical position is itself capable of a very 
specious defence. The truth is, we do not at all know 
what is meant by distance or intervals absolutely, any more 
than we know what is meant by absolute time. Late dis- 
coveries in geology have tended to make it probable that 
time may under circumstances go indefinitely faster or 
slower than it does at present ; or in other words, that in- 
definitely more may be accomplished in a given portion of 
it. What Moses calls a day, geologists wish to prove to be 
thousands of years, if we measure time by the operations at 
present effected in it. It is equally difficult to determine 
what we mean by distance, or why we should not be at this 
moment close to the throne of God, though we seem far 
from it. Our measure of distance is our hand or our foot ; 
but as an object a foot off is not called distant, though the 
interval is indefinitely divisible ; neither need it be distant 
cither, after it has been multiplied indefinitely. Why should 
any conventual measure of ours — why should the percep- 
tions of our eyes or our ears, be the standard of presence or 
distance! Christ may really be close to us, though in 

Transubstantiation. 57 

heaven, and His presence in the Sacrament may but be a 
manifestation to the worshipper of that nearness, not a 
change of place, which may be unnecessary. But on this 
subject some extracts may be suitably made from a pamphlet 
published several years since, and admitting of one or two 
verbal corrections, which, as in the case of other similar 
quotations above, shall here be made without scruple : — 

*' In the note at the end of the Communion Service, it is 
argued, that a body cannot be in two places at once ; and 
that therefore the Body of Christ is not locally present, in 
the sense in which we speak of the bread as being locally 
present. On the other hand, in the Communion Service 
itself, Catechism, Articles, and Homilies, it is plainly de- 
clared, that the Body of Christ is in a mysterious way, if 
not locally, yet really present, so that we are able after 
some ineffable manner to receive It. Whereas, then, the 
objection stands, ' Christ is not really here, because He is 
not locally here,' our formularies answer, ' He is really here, 
yet not locally.' 

'• But it may be asked. What is the meaning of saying 
that Christ is really present, yet not locally ? I will make 
a suggestion on the subject. What do we mean by being 
present ? How do we define and measure it ? To a blind 
and deaf man, that only is present which he touches : give 
him hearing, and the range of things present enlarges ; 
every thing is present to him which he hears. Give him at 
length sight, and the sun may be said to be present to him 
in the day-time, and myriads of stars by night. The pre- 
sence, then, of a thing is a relative word, depending, in a 
popular sense of it, upon the channels of communication 
between it and him to whom it is present ; and thus it is a 
word of degree. 

" Such is the meaning o^ presence, when used of material 
objects ; — very different from this is the conception we form 
of the presence of spirit with spirit. The most intimate 
presence we can fancy is a spiritual presence in the soul ; it 
is nearer to us than any material object can possibly be ; 
for our body, which is the organ of conveying to us the pre- 

58 Transuhstantiation. 

Bence of matter, sets bounds to its approach towards 113. 
If, then, spiritual beings can be brought near to us, (and 
that they can, we know, from what is told us of the in- 
fluences of Divine grace, and again of evil angels upon our 
souls,) their presence is something sui generis^ of a more 
perfect and simple character than any presence we com- 
monly call local. And further, their presence has nothing 
to do with the degrees of nearness ; they are either present 
or not present, or, in other words, their coming is not 
measured by space, nor their absence ascertained by dis- 
tance. In the case of things material, a transit through 
space is the necessary condition of approach and presence ; 
but in things spiritual, (whatever be the condition,) such a 
transit seems not to be a condition. The condition is un- 
known. Once more : while beings simply spiritual seem 
not to exist in place, the Incarnate Son does ; according to 
our Church's statement already alluded to, that 'the na- 
tural body and blood of our Saviour Christ are in heaven 
and not here, it being against the truth of Christ's natural 
body to be at one time in more places than one.'' 

" Such seems to be the mystery attending our Lord and 
Saviour; He has a bod^/, and that spiritual. He is in 
place ; and yet, as being a spirit. His mode of approach — 
the mode in which He makes Himself present here or there 
— may be, for what we know, as different from the mode in 
which material bodies appi'oach and come, as a spiritual 
presence is move perfect. As material bodies approach by 
moving from place to place, so the approach and presence 
of a spiritual body may be in some other way, — probably is 
in some other way, since in some other way, (as it would 
appear) not gradual, progressive, approximating, that is, 
locomotive, but at once, spirits become present, — may be 
such as to be consistent with His remaining on God's riglit 
hand w^hile He becomes present here, — that is, it may be 
real yet not local, or, in a word, is 77iysterioi(s. The Body 
and Blood of Christ may be i-eally, literally present in the 
holy Eucharist, yet not having become present by local 
passage, may still literally and really be on God's right 

Transubsianiiation. 59 

hand ; so that, though they be present in deed and truth, 
it may be impossible, it may be untrue to say, that they are 
literally in the elements, or ahout them, or in the soul of 
the receiver. These may be useful modes of speech ac- 
cording to the occasion ; but the true determination of all 
such questions may be this, that Christ's Body and Blood 
are locally at God's right hand, yet really present here, — 
present here, but not here in place, — because they are spirit. 
" To assist our conceptions on this subject, I would recur 
to what I said just now about the presence of material 
objects, by way of putting my meaning in a different point 
of view. The presence of a material object, in the popular 
sense of the word, is a matter of degree, and ascertained by 
the means of apprehending it which belong to him to whom 
it is present. It is in some sense a correlative of the senses. 
A fly may be as near an edifice as a man ; yet we do not 
call it present to the fly, because it cannot see it ; and we 
call it present to the man because he can. This, however, 
is but a popular view of the matter : when we consider it 
carefully, it certainly is difficult to say what is meant by 
the presence of a material object relatively to us. It is in 
some respects truer to say that a thing is present, which is 
so circumstanced as to act upon us and influence us, whether 
we are sensible of it or not. Now this is what the Catholic 
Church seems to hold concerning our Lord's Presence in 
the Sacrament, that He then personally and bodily is with 
us in the way an object is which we call present ; how He 
is so, we know not, but that He should be so, though He 
be millions of miles away, is not more inconceivable than 
the influence of eyesight upon us is to a blind man. The 
stars are millions of miles off, yet they impress ideas upon 
our souls through our sight. We know but of five senses : 
we know not whether or not human nature bo capable of 
more ; we know not whether or not the soul possesses any 
thing analogous to them. We know nothing to negative 
the notion that the soul may be capable of having Christ 
present to it by the stimulating of dormant, or the develop- 
ment of possible energies. 

60 Transuhsiantiation. 

" As sight for certain purposes anniiiilates space, so other 
unknown capacities, bodily or spiritual, may annihilate it 
for other purposes. Such a practical annihilation was in- 
volved in the appearance of Christ to St. Paul on his con- 
version. Such a practical annihilation is involved in the 
doctrine of"'s ascension ; to speak according to the 
ideas of space and time commonly received, what must have 
been the rapidity of that motion by which, within ten days, 
He placed our human nature at the right hand of God I Is 
it more mysterious that He should ' open the heavens,' to 
use the Scripture phrase, in the sacramental rite ; that He 
should then dispense with time and space, in the sense in 
which they are daily dispensed with, in the sun's warming 
us at the distance of 100,000,000 of miles, than that He 
should have dispensed with them on occasion of His as- 
cending on high ? He who showed what the passage of an 
incorruptible body was ere it had reached God's throne, 
thereby suggests to us what may be its coming back and 
presence with us now, when at length glorified and become 
a spirit. 

" In answer, then, to the problem, how Christ comes to 
us while remaining on high, I answer just as much as this, 
— that He comes by the agency of the Holy Ghost, in 
and hy the Sacrament. Locomotion is the means of a ma- 
terial Presence ; the Sacrament is the means of His spi- 
ritual Presence. As faith is the means of our receiving It, 
so the Holy Ghost is the Agent and the Sacrament the 
means of His imparting It ; and therefore we call It a 
Sacramental Presence. We kneel before His heavenly 
Throne, and the distance is as nothing; it is as if that 
Throne were the Altar close to us. 

" Let it be carefully observed, that I am not proving or 
determining any thing ; I am only showing how it is that 
certain propositions which at first sight seem contradictions 
in terms, are not so, — I am but pointing out one way of re- 
conciling them. If there is but one way assignable, the 
force of all antecedent objection against the possibility ot 
any at all is removed, and then of course there may be 

Masses. 61 

other ways supposable though not assignable. It seems at 
first sight a mere idle use of words to say that Christ is 
really and literally, yet not locally, present in the Sacra- 
ment ; that He is there given to us, not in figure but in 
truth, and yet is still only on the right hand of God. I 
have wished to remove this seeming impossibility. 

" If it be asked, why attempt to remove it, I answer that 
I have no wish to do so, if persons will not urge it against 
the Catholic doctrine. Men maintain it as an impossibility, 
a contradiction in terms, and force a believer in it to say 
why it should not be so accounted. And then when he 
gives a reason, they turn round and accuse him of subtleties, 
and refinements, and scholastic trifling. Let them but be- 
lieve and act on the truth that the consecrated bread is 
Christ's body, as He says, and no officious comment on 
His words will be attempted by any well-judging mind. 
But when they say, ' this cannot be literally true, because it 
is impossible ;' then they force those who think it is lite- 
rally true, to explain how, according to their notions, it is 
not impossible. And those who ask hard questions must 
put up with hard answers." 

There is nothing, then, in the Explanatory Paragraph 
which has given rise to these remarks, to interfere with the 
doctrine, elsewhere taught in our formularies, of a real 
super-local presence in the Holy Sacrament. 

§ 9. — Masses. 

Article xxxi. — " The sacrifices (sacrificia) of Masses, in 
the which it was commonly said, that the priest did offer 
Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain 
or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits 
(perniciosae imposturse)." 

Nothing can show more clearly than this passage that 
the Articles are not written against the creed of the Roman 

62 Masses. 

Church, but against actual existing errors in it, whether 
taken into its system or not. Here the sacrifice of the 
Mass is not spoken of, in which the special question of 
doctrine would be introduced ; but " the sacrifice of Masses,'''' 
certain observances, for the most part private and solitary, 
which the writers of the Articles knew to have been in force 
in time past, and saw before their eyes, and which involved 
certain opinions and a certain teaching. Accordingly tlie 
passage proceeds, "in which it loas commonly said C which 
surely is a strictly historical mode of speaking. 

If any testimony is necessary in aid of what is so plain 
from the wording of the Article itself, it is found in the 
drift of the following passage from Burnet : — 

"1[t were easy from all the rituals of the ancients to shew, that they 
had none of those ideas that are now in the Roman Church. They 
had but one altar in a Church, and probably but one in a city : they 
had but one communion in a day at that altar : so far were they from 
the many altars in every church, and the many masses at every altar, 
that are now in the Roman Church. Tliey did not know what solitary 
masses were, without a communion. All the liturgies and all the 
writings of ancients are as express in this matter as is possible. The 
whole constitution of tlieir worship and discipline shews it. Tlieir 
worship always concluded with ,the Eucharist : such as were not 
capable of it, as the catechumens, and those who were doing public 
penance for their sins, assisted at the more general parts of the 
worship ; and so much of it was called their mass, because they were 
dismissed at the conclusion of it. When that was done, then the 
faithful stayed, and did partake of the Eucharist; and at the conclusion 
of it they were likewise dismissed, from whence it came to be called 
the mass of the MiMuV— Burnet on the XXXIst Article, p. 482. 

These sacrifices are said to be " blasphemous fables and 
pernicious impostures." Now the " blasphemous fable " is 
the teaching that there is a sacrifice for sin other than 
Christ's death, and that masses are that sacrifice. And 
the " pernicious imposture " is the turning this belief into a 
means of filthy lucre. 

1 . That the " blasphemous fable " is the teaching that 
masses are sacrifices for sin distinct from the sacrifice of 
Christs death, is plain from the first sentence of the Article. 

Masses. 63 

"The offering of Christ once made, is that perfect re- 
demption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of 
the ichole icorld., loth original and actual. And tJiere is none 
other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the 
sacrifice of masses, &c." It is observable too that the 
heading of the Article runs, " Of the one oblation of Christ 
finished upon the Cross," which interprets the drift of the 
statement contained in it about masses. 

Our Communion Service shows it also, in which the 
prayer of consecration commences pointedly with a decla- 
ration, which has the force of a protest, that Christ made 
on the cross, "by His one oblation of Himself once offered, 
a full., perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfac- 
tion for the sins of the whole world." 

And again in the offering of the sacrifice : " We entirely 
desire thy fatherly goodness mercifully to accept our sacrifice 
of praise and thanksgiving, most humbly beseeching Thee 
to grant that hy the merits and death of Thy Son Jesl's 
Christ, and through faith in His blood, we and all Thy 
whole Church may obtain remission of our sins and all otJier 
benefits of His passion."" 

[And in the notice of the celebration : "I purpose, 
through God's assistance, to administer to all such as shall 
be religiously and devoutly disposed, the most comfortable 
Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ; to be by 
them received in remembrance of His meritorious Cross 
and Passion ; whereby alone we obtain remission of our sins, 
and are made partakers of the kingdom of heaven."] 

But the popular charge still urged against the Koman 
system, as introducing in the Mass a second or rather con- 
tinually recurring atonement, is a sufficient illustration, 
without further quotations, of this part of the Article. 

2. That the " blasphemous and pernicious imposture " is 
the turning the Mass into a gain, is plain from such pas- 
sages as the following : — 

"With what earnestness, with what vehement zeal, did our Saviour 
Christ drive the buyers and sellers out of the temple of God, and 
hurled down the tables of the changers of money, and the scats of the 

64 Masses. 

doye-sellers, and could not abide that a man should carry a vessel 
through the temple. He told them, that they had made His Father's 
house a den of thieves, partly through their superstition, hypocrisy, 
false worship, false doctrine, and insatiable covetousness, and partly 
through contempt, abusing that place with walking and talking, with 
worldly matters, without all fear of God, and due reverence to that 
place. What dens of thieves the Churches of England have been 
made by the blasphemous buying and selling the most precious body and 
blood of Christ in the Mass, as the world was made to believe, at 
dirges, at months minds, at trentalls, in abbeys and chantries, besides 
other horrible abuses, (God's holy name be blessed for ever,) which 
we now see and understand. All these abominations they that supply 
the room of Christ have cleansed and purged the Churches of 
England of, taking away all such fulsomeuess and filthiness, as 
through blind devotion and ignorance hath crept into the Church 
these many hundred years," — On repairing and keeping clean of 
Churches, pp. 229, 230. 

Other passages are as follow : — 

" Have not the Christians of late days, and even in our days also, 
in like manner provoked the displeasure and indignation of Almighty 
God; partly because they have profaned and defiled their Churches 
with heathenish and Jewish abuses, with images and idols, with 
numbers of altars, "too superstitiously and intolei'ably abused, with 
gross abusing and filthy corrupting of the Lord's holy Supper, the 
blessed sacrament of His body and blood, with an infinite number 
of toys and trifles of their own devices, to make a goodly outward 
shew, and to deface the homely, simple, and sincere religion of Christ 
Jesus; partly, they resort to the Church like hypocrites, full of all 
iniquity and sinful life, having a vain and dangerous fancy and 
persuasion, that if they come to the Church, besprinkle them with 
holy water, hear a mass, and be blessed with a chalice, though they 
understand not one word of the whole service, nor feel one motion of 
repentance in their heart, all is well, all is sure?" — On the Place and 
Time of Prayer, p. 293. 

Again : — 

" What hath been the cause of this gross idolatry, but the ignorance 
hereof? What hath been the cause of this mummish inassing, but the 
ignorance hereof? Yea, what hath been, and what is at this day the 
cause of this want of love and charity, but the ignorance hereof? Let 
us therefore so travel to understand the Lord's Supper, that we be no 
cause of the decay of God's worship, of no idolatry, of no dumb 
massing, of no hate and malice ; so may we the bolder have access 

Masses. 65 

thither to ouv comfort." — Homily concerning the Sacrament, pp. 377, 

To the same purpose is the following passage from Bishop 
BulFs Sermons : — 

" It were easy to shew, how the whole frame of religion and doc- 
trine of the Church of Rome, as it is distinguished from that Chi'istianity 
which we hold in common with them, is evidently designed and 
contrived to serve the interest and profit of tliem that rule that Church, 
hy the disservices, yea, and ruin of those souls that are under their 
government What can the doctrine of men's playing an after- 
game for their salvation in purgatory be designed for, but to enhance 
the price of the priest's masses and dirges for the dead? Why must a 
solitary mass, bought for a piece of money, performed and participated 
by a priest alone, in a private coi-ner of a church, be, not only against 
the sense of Scripture and the Primitive Church, but also against 
common sense and grammar, called a Communion, and be accoimted 
useful to him tliat buys it, though he never himself receive the 
sacrament, or but once a year; but for this reason, that there is 
great gain, but no godliness at all, in this doctrine?" — Bp. Bull's 
Sermons, p. 10. 

And Bm'net says : — 

" Without going far in tragical expressions, we cannot hold saying 
what our Saviour said upon another occasion, 'My house is a house 
of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.' A trade was set up 
on this foundation. The world was made believe, that by the virtue of 
so many masses, which were to be purchased by great endowments, souls 
were redeemed out of purgatory, and scenes of visions and apparitions, 
sometimes of the tormented, and sometimes of the delivered souls, 
were published in all places : which had so wonderful an effect, tha' 
in two or three centuries, endowments increased to so vast a degree, 
that if the scandals of the clergy on the one hand, and the statutes of 
mortmain on the other, had not restrained the profuseness that the 
world was wrought up to on this account, it is not easy to imagine how 
far this might have gone; perhaps to an entire subjecting of the 
temporality to the spirituality. The practices by which this was 
managed, and the effects that followed on it, we can call by no other 
name than downright impostures; worse than the making or vending 
false coin : when the world was drawn in by such arts to plain 
bargains, to redeem their own souls, and the souls of their ancestors 
and posterity, so many masses were to be said, and forfeitures were to 
follow upon their not being said : thus the masses were really the price 
of the lands."— 0« Article XXII., pp. 303, 304. 


66 Masses. 

The truth of these representations cannot be better shown 
than by extracting the following passage from the Session 
22 of the Council of Trent :— 

" Whereas many things appear to liave crept in heretofore, whether 
by the fault of the times or by the neglect and wickedness of men, 
foreign to the dignity of so great a sacrifice, in ordfer that it may 
regain its due honour and observance, to the glory of God and the 
edification of His faithful people, the Holy Council decrees, that the 
bishops, ordinaries of each place, diligently take care and be bound, 
to forbid and put an end to all those things, which either avarice, 
which is idolatry, or irreverence, which is scarcely separable from 
impiety, or superstition, the pretence of true piety, has introduced. 
And, to say much in a few words, first of all, as to avarice, let them 
altogether forbid agreements, and bargains of payment of whatever 
kind, and whatever is given for celebrating new masses ; moreover im- 
portunate and mean extortion, rather than petition of alms, and such 
like practices, which border on simoniacal sin, certainly on Jilthy 
lucre. . . . And let them banish from the church those musical 
practices, when with the organ or with the chant any thing lascivious or 
impure is mingled; also all secular practices, vain and therefore 
profane conversations, promenadings, bustle, clamour; so that the 
house of God may truly seem and be called the house of prayer. 
Lastly, lest any opening be given to superstition, let them provide by 
edict and punishments appointed, that the priests celebrate it at no 
other than the due hours, nor use rites or ceremonies and prayers in 
the celebration of ma?ses, other than those which have been approved 
by the Church, and received on frequent and laudable use. And let 
them altogether remove from the Church a set number of certain 
masses and candles, which has proceeded rather from superstitious 
observance than from true religion, and teach the people in what 
consists, and from whom, above all, proceeds the so precious and 
heavenly fruit of this most holy sacrifice. And let them admonish 
the same people to come frequently to their parish Churches, at least 
en Sundays and the greater feasts," &c. 

On the whole, then, it is conceived that the Article before 
us neither speaks against the JNIass in itself, nor against its 
being [an offering, though commemorative,] ' for the quick 
and the dead for the remission of sin ; [(especially since 
the decree of Trent says, that "the fruits of the Bloody 
Oblation are through this most abundantly obtained ; so far 

* "An oCcring for the quick, &c." — First Edition. 

Marriage of Clergy. 67 

is the latter from detracting in any way from the former ;")] 
but against its being viewed, on the one hand, as inde- 
pendent of or distinct from the Sacrifice on the Cross, which 
is blasphemy ; and, on the other, its being directed to the 
emohiment of those to whom it pertains to celebrate it, 
which is imposture in addition. 

§ 10. — Marriage of Clergy. 

Article xxxii. — " Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, are not 
commanded by God's law, either to vow the estate of single 
life, or to abstain from marriage." 

There is literally no subject for controversy in these 
words, since even the most determined advocates of the 
celibacy of the clergy admit their truth. [As far as clerical 
celibacy is a duty, it] is grounded not on God''s law, but on 
the Church's rule, or on vow. No one, for instance, can 
question the vehement zeal of St. Jerome in behalf of this 
observance, yet he makes the following admission in his 
attack upon Jovinian : — 

" Jovinian says, ' You speak in vain, since the Apostle appointed 
Bishops, and Presbyters, and Deacons, the husbands of one wife, and 
liaving children.' But, as the Apostle says, that he has not a precept 
concerning virgins, yet gives a counsel, as having received mercy of 
the Lord, and urges throughout that discourse a preference of virginity 
to marriage, mid advises what he docs not command, lest he seem to 
cast a snare, and to impose a burden too great for man's nature ; so 
also, in ecclesiastical order, seeing that an infant Church was then 
forming out of the Gentiles, he gives the lighter precepts to recent 
converts, lest they should fail under them through fear," — Jdo. 
Jovinian, i. 34. 

And the Council of Trent merely lays down : — 

" If any shall say that clerks in holy orders, or regulars, who have 
solemnly professed chastity, can contract matrimony, and that the 
contract is valid in spite of ecclesiastical law or vow, let him be 
anathema." — Sees. 24, Can. 9. 

P 2 

fiS Marriage of Clergy. 

Here the observance is placed simply upon rule of the 
Church or upon vow, neither of which exists in the English 
Church; '•''therefore,'''' as the Article logically proceeds, "it 
is lawful for them, as for all other Christian men, to marry 
at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve 
better to godliness."" Our Church leaves the discretion with 
the clergy ; and most persons will allow that, under our cir- 
cumstances, she acts wisely in doing so. That she hsis power, 
did she so choose, to take from them this discretion, and to 
oblige them either to marriage [(as is said to be the case as 
regards the parish priests of the Greek Church)] or to 
celibacy, would seem to be involved in the doctrine of the 
following extract from the Homilies; though, whether an 
enforcement either of the one or the other rule would be 
expedient and pious, is another matter. Speaking of fasting, 
the Homily says: — 

" God's Church ought not, neither may it be so tied to that or any 
other order now made, or hereafter to be made and devised by the 
authority of man, but that it may lawfully, for just causes, alter, change, 
or mitigate those ecclesiastical decrees and orders, yea, recede wholly 
from them, and break them, when they tend either to superstition or to 
impiety ; when they draw the people from God rather than work any 
edification in them. This authority Christ Himself used, and left it 
to His Church. He used it, I say, for the order or decree made by the 
elders for washing ofttimes, which was diligently observed of the Jews; 
yet tending to superstition, our Saviour Christ altered and changed 
the same in His Church into a profitable sacrament, the sacrament of 
our regeneration, or new birth. This authority to mitigate laws and 
decrees ecclesiastical, the Apostles practised, when they, writing from 
Jerusalem unto the congregation that was at Antioch, signified unto 
them, that they would not lay any further burden upon them, but 
these necessaries : that is, ' that they should abstain from things offered 
xmto idols, from blood, from that which is strangled, and from forni- 
cation ;' notwithstanding that Moses's law required many other ob- 
servances. This authority to change the orders, degrees, and consti- 
tutions of the Church, was, after the Apostles' time, used of tlie fathers 
about the manner of fasting, as it appeareth in the Tripartite History. 
.... Tlius ye have heard, good people, fii'st, that Christian subjects 
are bound even in conscience to obey princes' laws, which are not re- 
pugnant to the laws of God. Ye have also heard that Christ's Church 
is not so bound to observe any order, law, or decree made by man, to 

The Homilies. 69 

prescribe a form in religion, but that the Church hath full power and 
authority from God to change and alter the same, when need shall 
require; which hath been shewed you by the example of our Saviour 
Christ, by the practice of the Apostles, and of the Fathers since that 
time." — Homily on Fasting, pp. 242 — 244. 

To the same effect the 34th Article declares, that, 

" It is not necessary that traditions and ceremonies be in all places 
one, and utterly like; for at all times they have been divers, and may 
be changed according to diversities of countries, times, and men's man- 
ners, so that nothing be ordained against God's Word. 'Whosoever, 
through his private judgment, willingly and purposely doth openly brea/c 
the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant 
to the Word of God, and be ordained and approved by common au- 
thority, ought to be rebuked openly." — Article XXXIV". 

§ 11. — The Homilies. 

Art, XXXV. — " The Second Book of Homilies doth con- 
tain a godly and wholesome doctrine, and necessary for these 
times, as doth the former Book of Homilies."" 

This Article has been treated of in No. 82 of these 
Tracts, in the course of an answer given to an opponent, 
who accused its author of not fairly receiving the Homilies, 
because he dissented from their doctrine, that the Bishop 
of Rome is Antichrist, and that regeneration was vouchsafed 
under the law. The passage of the Tract shall here be in- 
serted, with some abridgment. 

" I say plainly, then, I have not siihscriled the Homilies, 
nor was it ever intended that any member of the English 
Church should be subjected to what, if considered as an ex- 
tended confession, would indeed be a yoke of bondage. 
Romanism surely is innocent,* compared with that system 
which should impose upon the conscience a thick octavo 
volume, written flowingly and freely by fallible men, to be 
received exactly, sentence by sentence : I cannot conceive 
any grosser instance of a pharisaical tradition than this 

70 The Homilies. 

would be. No : such a proceeding would render it impos- 
sible (I would say), for any one member, lay or clerical, of 
the Church to remain in it, who was subjected to such an 
ordeal. For instance ; I do not suppose that any reader 
would be satisfied with the political reasons for fasting, 
though indirectly introduced, yet fully admitted and dwelt 
upon in the Homily on that subject. He would not like to 
subscribe the declaration that eating fish was a duty, not 
only as being a kind of fasting, but as making provisions 
cheap, and encouraging the fisheries. He would not like 
the association of religion with earthly politics. 

"How, then, are we bound to the Homilies? By the 
Thirty -fifth Article, which speaks as follows : — ' The second 
Book of Homilies . . . doth contain a godly and wholesome 
doctrine, and necessary for these times, as doth the former 
Book of Homilies.'' Now, observe, this Article does not 
speak of every statement made in them, but of the ' doc- 
trine.'' It speaks of the view or cast or hody of doctrine 
contained in them. In spite of ten thousand incidental 
propositions, as in any large book, there is, it is obvious, a 
certain line of doctrine, which may be contemplated con- 
tinuously in its shape and direction. For instance ; if you 
say you disapprove the doctrine contained in the Tracts for 
the Times, no one supposes you to mean that every sentence 
and half sentence is a lie. I say then, that in like manner, 
when the Article speaks of the doctrine of the Homilies, it 
does not measure the letter of them by the inch, it does not 
imply that they contain no propositions which admit of two 
opinions ; but it speaks of a certain determinate line of 
doctrine, and moreover adds, it is '"necessary for these times.'' 
Does not tliis, too, show the same thing ? If a man said, 
the Tracts for the Times are seasonable at this moment, as 
their title signifies, would he not speak of them as taking a 
certain line, and bearing in a certain way ? Would he not 
be speaking, not of phrases or sentences, but of a ' doctrine' 
in them tending one way, viewed as a whole ? NVould he be 
inconsistent, if after praising them as seasonable, he con- 
tinued, ' yet I do not pledge myself to every view or senli- 

The Homilies, 71 

ment ; there are some things in them hard of digestion, ov 
overstated, or doubtful, or subtle V 

" If any thing could add to the irrelevancy of the charge 
in question, it is the particular point in which it is urged 
that I dissent from the Homilies, — a question concerning 
the fulfilment of prophecy ; viz. whether Papal Home is 
Antichrist? An iron yoke indeed you would forge for the 
conscience, when you oblige us to assent, not only to. all 
matters of doctrine which the Homilies contain, but even to 
their opinion concerning the fulfilment of prophecy. Why, 
we do not ascribe authority in such matters even to the 
unanimous consent of all tlie fathers. 

" I will put what I have been saying in a second point of 
view. The Homilies are subsidiary to the Articles ; there- 
fore they are of authority so far as they hring out the sense 
of the Articles, and are not of authority where they do not. 
For instance, they say that David, though unbaptized, w'as 
regenerated, as you have quoted. This statement cannot 
be of authority, because it not only does not agree, but it 
even disagrees, with the ninth Article, which translates the 
Latin word ' renatis ' by the English ' baptized.' But, ob- 
serve, if this mode of viewing the Homilies be taken, as it 
fairly may, you suffer from it ; for the Apocrypha, heing the 
subject of an Article, the comment furnished in the Homily 
is binding on you, whereas you reject it. 

" A further remark will bring us to the same point. 
Another test of acquiescence in the doctrine of the Ho- 
milies is this : — Take their fable of contents ; examine the 
headings ; these surely, taken together, will give the sub- 
stance of their teaching. Now I hold fully and heartily the 
doctrine of the Homilies, under every one of these headings : 
the only points to which I should not accede, nor think 
myself called upon to accede, would be certain matters, sub- 
ordinate to the doctrines to which the headings refer — 
matters not of doctrine, but of opinion, as, that Rome is 
the Antichrist ; or of historical fact, as, that there was a 
Pope Joan. But now, on the other hand, can you subscribe 
the doctrine of the Homilies under every one of its fonnal 

72 The Homilies. 

headings ? I believe you cannot. The Homily against Dis- 
obedience and Wilful Rebellion is, in many of its elementary 
principles, decidedly uncongenial with your sentiments." 

This illustration of the subject may be thought enough ; 
yet it may be allowable to add from the Homilies a number 
of propositions and statements of more or less importance, 
which are too much forgotten at this day, and are decidedly 
opposed to the views of certain schools of religion, which at 
the present moment are so eager in claiming the Homilies 
to themselves. This is not done, as the extract already 
read will show, with the intention of maintaining that they 
are one and all binding on the conscience of those who sub- 
scribe the Thirty-fifth Article ; but since the strong lan- 
guage of the Homilies against the Bishop of Home is often 
quoted, as if it were thus proved to be the doctrine' of our 
Church, it may be as well to show that, following the same 
rule, we shall be also introducing Catholic doctrines, which 
indeed it far more belongs to a Church to profess than a 
certain view of prophecy, but which do not approve them- 
selves to those who hold it. For instance, we read as 
follows: — 

1. " The great clerk and godly preacher, St. John Chry- 
sostom." — 1 B. i. 1. And, in like manner, mention is made 
elsewhere of St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, St. Hilary, St. 
Basil, St. Cyprian, St. Hierome, St. Martin, Origen, Pros- 
per, Ecumenius, Photius, Bernardus, Anselm, Didymus, 
Theophylactus^ TertuUian, Athanasius, Lactantius, Cyrillus, 
Epiphanius, Gregory, Irenseus, Clemens, Rabanus, Isidorus, 
Eusebius, Justinus Martyr, Optatus, Eusebius Emisoenus, 
and Bede. 

2. " Infants, being baptized, and dying in their infancy, 
are by this Sacrifice washed from their sins . . . and they, 
which in act or deed do sin after this baptism, when they 
turn to God unfeignedly, they are likewise washed by this 
Sacrifice," &c. — 1 B, iii. 1. init. 

3. " Our office is, not to pass the time of this present 
life unfruitfully and idly, after that we are haptized or jus- 
tijled;' &c.— 1 B. iii. 3. 

The Homilies. 73 

4. '• By holy promises, wo be made lively members of 
Christ, receiving the sacrament of Baptism. By like holy 
promises fJie sacrament of Matrimony knitteth man and wife 
in perpetual love." — 1 B. vii. 1. 

5. ■' Let us learn also here [in the Book of Wisdom] 
by ilie infallible and undeceivahle WordofQon, that," &c. 
—1 B. X. 1. 

6. " The due receiving of His blessed Body and Blood, 
under the form of bread and wine." — Note at end o/B. i. 

7. '■ In the Primitive Church, which was most holy and 
godly . . . open offenders were not suffered once to enter 
into the house of the Lord . . . until they had done open 
penance . . . but this was practised, not only upon mean 
persons, but also upon the rich^ nolle, and mighty persons, 
yea, upon Theodosius, that puissant and mighty Emperor, 
whom ... St. Ambrose . . . did . . . excommunicate." — 
2 B. i. 2. 

8. " Open offenders were not . . . admitted to common 
prayer, and the use of the holy sacraments^'' — Ibid. 

9. " Let us amend this our negligence and contempt in 
coming to the house of the Lord ; and resorting thither 
diligently together, let us there . . . celebrating also reve- 
rently the Lord's holy sacraments, serve the Lord in His 
holy house." — Ibid. 5. 

10. " Contrary to the . . . most manifest doctrine of the 
Scriptures, and contrary to the usages of the Primitive 
Church, which teas most pure and uncorrupt, and contrary 
to the sentences and judgments of the most ancient, learned, 
and godly doctors of the Church." — 2 B. ii. 1. init. 

11. " This truth . . . was believed and taught by the old 
holy fathers, and most ancient learned doctors, and received 
by the old Primitive Church, which icas most uncorrupt and 
pure.'''' — 2 B. ii. 2. init. 

1 2. " Athanasius, a very ancient, holy, and learned bishop 
and doctor." — Ibid. 

13. " Cyrillus, an old and holy doctor." — Ibid. 

14. " Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamine, in Cyprus, a very 
holy and learned man." — Ibid. 

74 The Homilies, 

15. " To whose (Epiphanius's) judgment you have . . . 
all the learned and godly bishops and clerks, yea, and the 
whole Church of that age," [the Nicene] "and so upward 
to our Saviouk. Christ*'s time, by the space of about four 
hundred years, consenting and agreeing." — Ibid, 

16. " Epiphanius, a bishop and doctor of such antiquity, 
holiness, and authority." — Ihid. 

17. " St. Augustine, the best learned of all ancient doc- 
tors." — Ibid. 

IS. " That ye may know why and when, and by whom 
images were first used privately, and afterwards not only 
received into Christian churches and temples, but, in con- 
clusion, worshipped also ; and how the same was gainsaid, 
resisted, and forbidden, as well by godly bisJiops and learned 
doctors, as also by sundry Christian princes, I will briefly 
collect," &c. [The bishops and doctors which follow are :] 
" St. Jerome, Serenus, Gregory, the Fathers of the Council 
of Eliberis." 

19. " Constantino, Bishop of Rome, assembled a Council 
of bishops of the West, and did condemn Philippicus, the 
Emperor, and John, Bishop of Constantinople, of the lieresy 
of the Monothelites, not without a cause indeed, but very 
justly^ — Ibid. 

20. " Those six Councils, which icere allowed and received 
of all menr — Ibid, 

21. "There were no images publicly by the space of 
almost seven hundred years. And there is no doubt but the 
Primitive Church, next the Apostles'" times, was most pure.''"' 

22. " Let us beseech God that we, being warned by His 
holy Word . . . and by the ivritings of old godly doctors and 
ecclesiastical histories," &c. — Ibid. 

23. " It shall be declared, both by God's Word, and the 
sentences of the ancient doctors, and judgment of the Pri- 
mitive Church," &c.— 2 B. ii. 3. 

24. '• Saints, whose souls reign in joy with God." — Ibid. 

25. " That the law of God is likewise to be understood 
against all our images . . . appearetli further by ihejudg- 


The Homilies. 76 

ment of the old doctors and the Primitive Church." — 

26. " The Primitive Church, wMcJi is specially/ to he fol- 
loiced^ as most incorrupt and pure." — Ibid. 

27. " Thus it is declared by God's Word, the sentences 
of the doctors, and the judgment of the Primitive Church." 
— Ibid. 

28. " The rude people, who specially, as the Scripture 
tcacheth, are in danger of superstition and idolatry ; viz. 
AVisdom xiii. xiv." — Ibid. 

29. " They [the ' learned and holy bishops and doctors of 
the Church' of the eight first centuries] were the preaching 
bishops .... And as they were most zealous and diligent, 
so were they of excellent learning and godliness of life, 
and by both of great authority and credit with the people." 

SO. " The most virtuous and best learned, the most dili- 
gent also, and in number almost infinite, ancient fathers, 
bishops, and doctors . . . could do nothing against images 
and idolatry." — Ibid. 

31. " As the Word of God testifieth. Wisdom xiv."-- 

32. " The saints, now reigning in heaven with God." — 

33. " liYiQ founiain of our regeneration is there [in God's 
house] presented unto us." — 2 B. iii. 

36. " Somewhat shall now be spoken of one particular 
good icorJc, whose commondation is both in the law and in 
the Gospel [fasting]."— 2 B. iv. 1. 

37. " If any man shall say . . . we are not now under the 
yoke of the law, we are set at liberty by the freedom of the 
Gospel ; therefore these rites and customs of the old law 
bind not us, except it can be showed by the Scriptures of 
the New Testament, or by examples out of the same, that 
fasting, now under the Gospel, is a restraint of meat, drinl\ 
and all bodily food and pleasures from the body, as before : 
first, that we ought to fast, is a truth more manifest, then it 
should here need to be proved . . . Fasting, even by Christ's 

76 The Homilies, 

assent, is a withholding meat, drink, and all natural food 
from the body," &c. — Ihid. 

38. " That it [fasting] was used in the Primitive Church, 
appeareth most evidently by the Chalcedon council, one of 
t\\Q first four general councils. The fathers assembled there 
.... decreed in that council that every person, as well in 
his private as public fast, should continue all the day with- 
out meat and drink, till after the evening prayer This 

Canon teacheth how fasting was used in the Primitive 
Church." — Ibid. [The Council was a.d. 452.] 

S9. " Fasting then, by the decree of those 630 fathers, 
grounding their determinations in this matter upon the 
sacred Scriptures ... is a withholding of meat, drink, and 
all natural food from the body, for the determined time of 

40. " The order or decree made by the elders for washing 
ofttimes, tending to superstition, our Saviour Christ 
altered and changed the same in His Church, into a profit- 
able sacrament, the sacrament of our regeneration or neio 
hirth.''—2 B. iv. 2. 

41. " Fasting thus used with prayer is of great efficacy 
and weiglieth tnucli with God, so the angel Raphael told 
Tobias."— /^jV. 

42. " As he " [St. Augustine] " witnesseth in another 
place, the martyrs and holy men in times past were wont 
after their death to be remembered and named of the priest 
at divine service ; but never to be invocated or called upon." 
—2 B. vii. 2. 

43. " Thus you see that the authority both of Scripture 
and also of Augustine, doth not permit that we should pray 
to them." — Ibid. 

44. " To temples have the Christians customably used to 
resort from time to time as to most meet places, where 
they might . . . receive His holy sacraments ministered unto 
them duly and purely." — 2 B. viii. 1. 

45. " The which thing both Christ and His apostles, 
with all the rest of the holy fathers, do sufficiently declare 
eo."" — Ibid. 

The Homilies. 77 

46. " Our godly predecessors^ and the ancient fathers of 
the Primitive Church, spared not their goods to build 
churches." — Ibid. 

47. " If we will show ourselves true Christians, if we will 
be followers of Christ our Master, and of those ffodly 
fathers that have lived before us, and now have received the 
reward of true and faithful Christians," &c. — Ibid. 

48. " We must . . . come unto the material churches and 
temples to pray . . . whereby we may reconcile ourselves to 
God, be partakers of His holy sacraments, and be devout 
hearers of His holy Word," &c. — Ibid. 

49. " It [ordination] lacks the promise of remission of 
sin, as all other sacraments besides the two above named 
do. Therefore neither it, nor any other sacrament else, be 
such sacraments as Baptism and the Communion are." — 
2 Horn. ix. 

50. " Thus we are taught, both by the Scriptures and 
ancient doctors, that," &c. — Ibid. 

61, " The holy apostles and disciples of Christ . . . the 
godly fathers also, that were both before and since Christ, 
endued without doubt with the Holy Ghost, . . . they both 
do most earnestly exhort us, &c. . . . that we should re- 
member the poor . . . St. Paul crieth unto us after this 
sort .... Isaiah the Prophet teacheth us on this wise . . . 
And the holy father Tobit giveth this counsel. And the 
learned and godly doctor Chrysostom giveth this admonition. 
.... But what mean these often admonitions and earnest 
exhortations of the prophets, apostles, fathers, and holy 
doctors!" — 2 B. xi. 1. 

52. " The holy fathers. Job and TohW— Ibid. 

53. " Christ, whose especial favour we may be assured 
by this means to obtain,'''' [viz. by almsgiving] — 2 B. xi. 2. 

54. " Now will I . . . show unto you how prof table it is 
for us to exercise them [alms-deeds] . . . [Christ's saying] 
serveth to . . . prick us forwards ... to learn . . . hoio we 
may recover our health, if it be lost or impaired, and how it 
may be defended and maintained if we have it. Yea, He 
teacheth us also therefore to esteem that as a precious me- 

78 The Homilies. 

dicine and an inestimable jewel, that hath such strength and 
■virtue in it, that can either procure or preserve so incom- 
parable a treasure." — Ibid. 

55. " Then He and His disciples were grievously accused 
of the Pharisees, . . . because they went to meat and washed 
not their hands before, . . . Christ, answering their super- 
stitious complaint, teacheth them an especial remedy how to 
keep clean their souls, . . . Give alms," &c. — Ibid. 

hQ. " Merciful alms-dealing \a profitable to purge the soul 
from the infection and filthy spots of sin.''"' — Ibid. 

57. " The same lesson doth the Holy Ghost teach in 
sundry places of the Scripture, saying, 'Mercifulness and 
alms-giving,'' &c. [Tobit iv.] . . . The wise preacher, the son 
of Sirach, confirmeth the same, when he says, that 'as 
water quencheth burning fire,'' " &c. — Ibid. 

58. " A great confidence may they have before the high 
God, that show mercy and compassion to them that are 
afflicted."— /J/(/. 

59. " If ye have by any infirmity or weakness been 
touched or annoyed with them . . . straightway shall mer- 
cifulness icipe and wash them away, as salves and remedies 
to heal their sores and grievous diseases.'''' — Ibid. 

60. " And therefore that holy father Cyprian admonisheth 
to consider how loholesome and profitable it is to relieve the 
needy, &;c. ... by the which we may purge our sins and heal 
our icounded souls.''"' — Ibid. 

61. " We be therefore washed in our baptism from the 
filthiness of sin, that we should live afterwards in the pure- 
ness of life." — 2 B. xiii. 1. 

62. " By these means [by love, compassion, fee] shall 
we move God to be merciful to our sjws." — Ibid. 

63. " ' He was dead,' saith St. Paul, 'for our sins, and 
rose again for our justification'' . . . He died to destroy the 
rule of the devil in us, and He rose again to send down His 
Holy Spirit to rule in our hearts, to [endow] us w'tih per- 
fect righteousness.'''' — 2 B. xiv. 

64. " The ancient Catholic fathers,'''' [in marg.] Irenseus, 
Ignatius, Dionysius, Origen, Optatus, Cyprian, Athanasius, 

The HoniiUes. 79 

. . . . " were not afraid to call this supper, some of them, 
the salve of immortallfy and sovereign preservative against 
death ; other, the sweet dainties of our Saviour, the pledge 
of eternal health, the defence of faith, the hope of the re- 
surrection ; other, the food of immortality^ the healthful 
grace, and the conservatory to everlasting life/' — 2 B. xv. 1. 

65. " The meat we seek in this supper is spiritual food, 
the nourishment of our soul, a heavenly refection, and not 
earthly ; an invisible meat, and not bodily ; a ghostly sub • 
stance^ and not carnal." — Ibid. 

QQ. " Take this lesson ... of Emissenus, a godly father, 
that . . . thou look up with faith upon the holy body and 
blood of thy God, thou marvel with reverence, thou touch it 
with thy mind, thou receive it with the hand of thy heart, 
and thou take it fully with thy inward man."" — Ibid. 

67. " The saying of the holy martyr of GoD, St. Cyprian." 
—2 B. XX. 3. 

Thus we see the authority of the fathers, of the first six 
councils, and of the judgments of the Church generally, the 
holiness of the Primitive Church, the inspiration of the 
Apocrypha, the sacramental character of Marriage and 
other ordinances, the Real Presence in the Eucharist, the 
Church"'s power of excommunicating kings, the profitable- 
ness of fasting, the propitiatory virtue of good works, the 
Eucharistic commemoration, and justification by a righteous- 
ness [within us] ', are taught in the Homilies. Let it be 
said again, it is not here asserted that a subscription to all 
and every of these quotations is involved in the subscription 
of an Article which does but generally approve the Ho- 
milies : but they who insist so strongly on our Church's 
holding that the Bishop of Rome is Antichrist because the 
Homilies declare it, should recollect that there are other 
doctrines contained in them beside it, which they [them- 
selves] should be understood to hold, before their argument 
has the force of consistency. 

* " By inherent righteousness." First Edition. 


§ 12. — The Bishop of Rome. 

Article xxxviii. — " The Bishop of Rome hath no juris- 
diction in this realm of England." 

By "hath" is meant "ought to have," as the Article in 
the 36th Canon and the Oath of Supremacy show, in which 
the same doctrine is drawn out more at length. "No 
foreign prince, person, prelate^ state, or potentate, hath, or 
ought to have, any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre- 
eminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within 
this realm." 

This is the profession which every one must in consistency 
make, who does not join the Roman Church. If the Bishop 
of Rome has jurisdiction and authority here, why do we not 
acknowledge it, and submit to him ? To say then the above 
words, is nothing more or less than to say " I am not a 
Roman Catholic ;" and whatever reasons there are against 
saying them, are so far reasons against remaining in the 
English Church. They are a mere enunciation of the 
principle of Anglicanism. 

Anglicans maintain that the supremacy of the Pope is 
not directly from revelation, but an event in Providence. 
All things may be undone by the agents and causes by 
which they are done. What revelation gives, revelation 
takes away ; what Providence gives. Providence talces away. 
God ordained by miracle. He reversed by miracle, the 
Jewish election ; He promoted in the way of Providence, 
and He cast down by the same way, the Roman empire. 
" The powers that be, are ordained of God," icMle they be, 
and have a claim on our obedience. When they cease to 
be, they cease to have a claim. They cease to be, when 
God removes them. He may be considered to remove them 
when He undoes what He had done. The Jewish election 
did not cease to be, when the Jews went into captivity : 
this was an event in Providence; and what miracle had 
ordained, it was miracle that annulled. But the Roman 

The Bishop of Rome. 81 

power ceased to be when the barbarians overthrew it ; for 
it rose by the sword, and it therefore perished by the sword. 
The Gospel Ministry began in Christ and His Apostles; 
and what they began, they only can end. The Papacy 
began in the exertions and passions of man ; and what man 
can make, man can destroy. Its jurisdiction, while it lasted, 
was " ordained of Gou ;" when it ceased to be, it ceased to 
claim our obedience ; and it ceased to be at the Reforma- 
tion. The Reformers, who could not destroy a Ministry, 
which the Apostles began, could destroy a Dominion which 
the Popes founded. 

Perhaps the following passage will throw additional light 
upon this point : — 

" The Anglican view of the Church has ever beeli this : 
that its portions need not otherwise have been united to- 
gether for their essential completeness, than as being 
descended from one original. They are like a number of 

colonies sent out from a mother-country Each Church 

is independent of all the rest, and is to act on the principle 
of what may be called Episcopal independence, except, in- 
deed, so far as the civil power unites any number of them 
together. . . . Each diocese is a perfect independent Church, 
sufficient for itself; and the communion of Christians one 
with another, and the unity of them altogether, lie, not in 
a mutual understanding, intercourse, and combination, not 
in what they do in common, but in what they are and have 
in common, in their possession of the Succession, their 
Episcopal form, their Apostolical faith, and the use of the 

Sacraments Mutual intercourse is but an accident of 

the Church, not of its essence Intercommunion is a 

duty, as otiier duties, but is not the tenure or instrument 
of the communion between the unseen world and this ; and 
much more the confederacy of sees and churches, the me- 
tropolitan, patriarchal, and papal systems, are matters of 
expedience or of natural duty from long custom, or of 
propriety from gratitude and reverence, or of necessity from 
voluntary oaths and engagements, or of ecclesiastical force 
from the canons of Councils, but not necessary in order to 


82 The Bisliop of Rome. 

the conveyance of grace, or for fulfilment of the ceremonial 
law, as it may be called, of unity. Bishop is superior to 
bishop only in rank, not in real power ; and the Bishop of 
Rome, the head of the Catholic world, is not the centre of 
unity, except as having a primacy of order. Accordingly, 
even granting for arguments sake, that the English Church 
violated a duty in the 1 6th century, in releasing itself from 
the Roman supremacy, still it did not thereby commit that 
special sin, which cuts off from it the fountains of grace, 
and is called schism. It was essentially complete without 
Rome, and naturally independent of it ; it had, in the course 
of years, whether by usurpation or not, come under the 
supremacy of Rome ; and now, whether by rebellion or not, 
it is free from it : and as it did not enter into the Church 
invisible by joining Rome, so it was not cast out of it by 
breaking from Rome. These were accidents in its history, 
involving, indeed, sin in individuals, but not aifecting the 
Church as a Church. 

" Accordingly, the Oath of Supremacy declares ' that no 
foreign prelate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, 
power, pre-eminence, or authority within this realm.' In 
other words, there is nothing in the Apostolic system which 
gives an authority to the Pope over the Church, such as it 
does not give to a Bishop. It is altogether an ecclesiastical 
arrangement ; not a point defide^ but of expedience, custom, 
or piety, which cannot be claimed as if the Pope ought to 
have it, any more than, on the other hand, the King could 
of Divine right claim the supremacy ; the claim of both one 
and the other resting, not on duty or revelation, but on 
specific engagement. We find ourselves, as a Church, 
under the King now, and we obey him ; we were under the 
Pope formerly, and we obeyed him. 'Ought' does not, in 
any degree, come into the question."" 



One remark may be made in conclusion. It may be 
objected that the tenor of the above explanations is anti- 
Protestant, whereas it is notorious that the Articles were 
drawn up by Protestants, and intended for the establish- 
ment of Protestantism ; accordingly, that it is an evasion 
of their meaning to give them any other than a Protestant 
drift, possible as it may be to do so grammatically, or in 
each separate part. 

But the answer is simple : 

1. In the first place, it is a duty which we owe both to 
the Catholic Church and to our own, to take our reformed 
confessions in the most Catholic sense they will admit ; we 
have no duties toward their framers. [Nor do we receive 
the Articles from their original framers, but from several 
successive convocations after their time ; in the last instance, 
from that of 1 662.] 

2. In giving the Articles a Catholic interpretation, we 
bring them into harmony with the Book of Common Prayer, 
an object of the most serious moment in those who have 
given their assent to both formularies. 

3. Whatever be the authority of the [Declaration] pre- 
fixed to the Articles, so far as it has any weight at all, it 
sanctions the mode of interpreting them above given. For 
its enjoining the "literal and grammatical sense," relieves 
us from the necessity of making the known opinions of their 
framers, a comment upon their text; and its forbidding 
any person to " affix any new sense to any Article," was 
promulgated at a time when the leading men of our Church 
were especially noted for those Catholic views which have 
been here advocated. 

4. It may be remarked, moreover, that such an interpre- 
tation is in accordance with the well-known general leaning 
of Melanchthon, from whose writings our Articles are prin- 

G 2 

84 Conclusion. 

cipally drawn, and whose Catholic tendencies gained for 
him that same reproach of popery, which has ever been 
so freely bestowed upon members of our own reformed 

" Melanchtbon was of opinion," says Mosheim, " that, for the sake 
of peace and concord, many things might be given up and tolerated in 
the Church of Rome, which Luther considered could by no means be 
endured. ... In the class of matters indifferent, this great man and 
his associates placed many things which had appeared of the highest 
importance to Luther, and could not of consequence be considered as 
indifferent by his true disciples. For he regarded as such, the doc- 
trine of justification by faith alone; the necessity of good works to 
eternal salvation ; the number of the sacraments ; the jurisdiction 
claimed by the Pope and the Bishops ; extreme unction ; the observa- 
tion of certain religious festivals, and several superstitious rites and 
ceremonies."— Ccn<. XVL § 3, part 2. 27, 28. 

5. Further: the Articles are evidently framed on the 
principle of leaving open large questions, on which the con- 
troversy hinges. They state broadly extreme truths, and 
are silent about their adjustment. For instance, they say 
that all necessary faith must be proved from Scripture, but 
do not say wJio is to prove it. They say that the Church 
has authority in controversies, they do not say what autho- 
rity. They say that it may enforce nothing beyond Scrip- 
ture, but do not say where the remedy lies when it does. 
They say that works hefore grace and justification are 
worthless and worse, and that works after grace and justi- 
fication are acceptable, but they do not speak at all of 
works with God's aid, hefore justification. They say that 
men are lawfully called and sent to minister and preach, 
who are chosen and called by men who have public autho- 
rity gimn them in the congregation to call and send ; but 
they do not add hy xchom the authority is to be given. 
They say that councils called hy princes may err; they do 
not determine whether councils called in the name of Christ 
will err. 

[6. The variety of doctrinal views contained in the 

Conclusion. 85 

Homilies, as above shown, views which cannot be brought 
under Protestantism itself, in its widest comprehension of 
opinions, is an additional proof, considering the connexion 
of the Articles with the Homilies, that the Articles are 
not framed on the principle of excluding those who prefer 
the theology of the early ages to that of the Reformation ; 
or rather since both Homilies and Articles appeal to 
the Fathers and Catholic antiquity, let it be considered 
whether, in interpreting them by these, we are not going 
to the very authority to which they profess to submit 

7. Lastly, their framers constructed them in such a way 
as best to comprehend those who did not go so far in Pro- 
testantism as themselves. Anglo-Catholics then are but the 
successors and representatives of those moderate reformers ; 
and their case has been directly anticipated in the wording 
of the Articles. It follows that they are not perverting, 
they are using them, for an express purpose for which 
among others their authors framed them. The interpre- 
tation they take was intended to be admissible ; though not 
that which their authors took themselves. Had it not been 
provided for, possibly the Articles never would have been 
accepted by our Church at all. If, then, their framers have 
gained their side of the compact in effecting the reception 
of the Articles, the Catholics have theirs too in retaining 
their own Catholic interpretation of them. 

An illustration of this occurs in the history of the 28th 
Article. In the beginning of Elizabeth''s reign a paragraph 
formed part of it, much like that which is now appended to 
the Communion Service, but in which the Real Presence 
was denied in words. It was adopted by the clergy at the 
first convocation, but not published. Burnet observes on it 
thus : — 

" When these Articles were first prepared by the convocation in 
Queen Elizabeth's reign, this paragraph was made a part of them ; for 
the original subscription by both houses of convocation, yet extant, 
shows this. But the desitjn of the government was at tliat time much 

86 Conclusion. 

turned to the drawing over the body of the nation to the Reformation, in 
whom the old leaven had gone deep; and no part of it deeper than 
the belief of the corporeal presence of Christ in the Sacrament; 
therefore it was thought not expedient to ojffend them by so particular a 
definition in this matter ; in which the very word Real Presence was 
rejected. It might, perhaps, be also suggested, that here a definition 
was made that went too much upon the principles of natural phi- 
losophy ; which, how true soever, they might not be the proper subject 
of an article of religion. Therefore it was thought fit to suppress this 
paragraph ; though it was a part of the Article that was subscribed, 
yet it was not published, but the paragraph that follows, ' The Body 
of Christ,' &c., was put in its stead, and was received and published 
by the next convocation ; which upon the matter was a full explana- 
tion of the way of Christ's presence in this Sacrament ; that ' He is 
present in a heavenly and spiritual manner, and that faith is the mean 
by which He is received.' This seemed to be more theological ; and 
it does indeed amount to the same thing. But howsoever we see what 
was the sense of the first convocation in Queen Elizabeth's reign, it 
differed in nothing from that in King Edward's time ; and therefore 
though this paragraph is now no part of our Articles, yet we are 
certain that the clergy at that time did not at all doubt of the truth of 
it ; we are sure it was their opinion ; since they subscribed it, though 
they did not think Jit to publish it at first; and though it was after- 
wards changed for another, that was the same in sense." — Burnet on 
Article XXVIII., p. 416. 

What lately has taken place in the political world will 
afford an illustration in point. A French minister, desirous 
of war, nevertheless, as a matter of policy, draws up his 
state papers in such moderate language, that his successor, 
who is for peace, can act up to them, without compromising 
his own principles. The world, observing this, has con- 
sidered it a circumstance for congratulation ; as if the 
former minister, who acted a double part, had been caught 
in his own snare. It is neither decorous, nor necessary, 
nor altogether fair, to urge the parallel rigidly ; but it will 
explain what it is here meant to convey. The Protestant 
Confession was drawn up with the purpose of including 
Catholics ; and Catholics now will not be excluded. What 
was an economy in the reformers, is a protection to us. 

Conclusion. 87 

What would have been a perplexity to us then, is a 
perplexity to Protestants now. We could not then have 
found fault with their words ; they cannot now repudiate 
our meaning. 

[J. H. N.] 


T/ie Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, 


Stereotyped Edition, reprinted (with the Author* s permission) 
from the Fourth Edition. 










^, , TO 




rnoFEssoii of poetry in the UNn'EiisiTr of oxfo^.d, 




ST. John's sauARE. 


My dear Friend, 

I MUST begin by returning you my most sincere thanks for 
your kindness in allowing your name to stand at the head 
of the considerations which I have now to offer on a very 
serious and rather painful subject. Without in the least 
committing you to any statement or sentiment which may 
fall from me, I nevertheless feel that such friendly coun- 
tenance may do much in disposing men to think fairly and 
deliberately of the view which I have been led to take : 
in itself a sufficiently obvious one, yet such as may very 
well escape observation, when people are excited, and think 
themselves called on to make up their minds in a hurry. 
There seems some reason to apprehend a feeling of this 
sort, and that in quarters of no mean influence, regarding 
the attempt which has recently been made to obviate 
certain objections to the Tiiirty-ninc Articles, and to 
reconcile subscription to them with Catholic principles. 
Persons seem unusually inclined to act and speak hastily 
on that subject. 

This alone, considering the importance of the matter, 
might excuse an endeavour, however weak, and however 
insignificant the quarter from which it proceeds, to urge a 

A 2 

4 The Case of Catholic Subscription 

little more patient reflection and inquiry, before steps arc 
taken, which it may be desirable, but impossible, to retrace. 
But he who now addresses you has a personal reason, 
which may partly acquit him of presumption in thus coming 
forward, whatever other censure it may draw upon him ; 
viz. that he is himself responsible, as far as any one besides 
the actual writer can be, for the Tract on which so severe 
a condemnation has lately been pronounced by the Heads 
of Houses at Oxford ; having seen it in proof, and strongly 
recommended its publication '. He is now, therefore, 
naturally anxious to explain, as he best may, the grounds 
of an opinion which has drawn on him the recorded censure 
of a body which he is for so many reasons bound to respect. 
The chief ground, indeed, has been already stated by 
Mr. Newman, viz. its being known as a fact, that persons 
imbued with Catholic principles, and desirous of carrying 
out in good faith the views which they seemed to them- 
selves to have learned from sacred Antiquity, were in some 
points staggered by the tone and wording of the Articles. 
Thus the title of the Sixth Article, The Sufficienci/ of Holy 
Scripture for Salvation, might seem, at first sight, to 
dispense with the Church's office, as a witness and keeper 
of Holy Writ, and an enunciator of the B-ule of Faith. 
To say " a man is justified by faith only," might appear to 
contradict St. James, and to be at variance with the 
constant use of the terms Justification, Merit, and the 
like, in the writings of the Fathers. The description of 
the visible Church, if taken as a strict definition, might 
seem to countenance the claims of the Congregationalists. 
The Article about Sacraments has a sound at variance 
with the well-known and constant phraseology of the old 
Church writers : that about Councils requires explanation, 
to be reconciled with what has always and every where 
been held, concerning those four at least, which the Church 
of England acknowledges. 

* This, his responBibilit)', he avowed to the Board, before the result 
of their deliberations on the subject was known. 

to the Thirty-nine Articles considered. 5 

On all these and similar points, explanations at length 
had been given in various works ; and it seemed desirable 
to collect them in one, as a kind of manual to assist in 
what was believed to be the true, legitimate, cathohc expo- 
sition of the Articles ; whereby the scruples which were 
known to exist, and other similar ones, which may be 
expected to arise from time to time in the interpretation of 
them, as of other formularies, might be removed or allayed, 
and our adherence to primitive antiquity, so far, thoroughly 
reconciled with our allegiance to the Anglican Church. 

Looking in another direction, one seemed to perceive an 
additional call for some brief and popular treatise to the 
above effect. From various quarters the cry of insincerity 
has been of late more and more loudly raised, against those 
who, subscribing these Articles, professed uncompromising 
reverence for the ancient Church ; and it was supposed 
neither unreasonable nor uncharitable, to put within tb.c 
reach of persons, who might find something plausible in 
sucli an outcry, the true account of the several points of 
detail, which at first sight would naturally tell in its favour. 
If I may speak of myself individually, I will add that the 
general tone of the Tract, more especially of the Intro- 
duction, appeared to me so very instructive, so exactly what 
our present position requires, that it would have required 
some very grave reason indeed, to make me consent to its 
suppression. To explain myself, I will instance particularly 
one expression : the rather because it seems to have been 
understood by many quite in a different sense from what 
its author intended, and, as I should say, from what the 
context obviously requires. " Till her members are stirred 
up to this religious course (of repentance, confession, and 
prayer, such as to win back the forfeited blessing of the 
Unity of the Spirit), let the Church sit still; let her be 
content to be in bondage ; let her work in chains ; let her 
submit to her imperfections as a punishment ; let her go on 
teaching with the stammering lips of ambiguous formularies, 
and inconsistent precedents, and principles partially de- 
volopcd.'" In this 1 saw nothing but a condensed sitatenient 

6. The Case of Catholic Suhscripiion 

of the same fact which had been taught and illustrated in 
detail in a former Tract for the Times, No. 86 ; the drift 
of which is to show, that the deviations made in our Prayer 
Book from the more perfect and primitive forms may be 
accounted for, on the supposition of a special Providence, 
overruling them, to suit our decayed moral tone and 
condition : a view which, besides its intrinsic verisimilitude 
and importance, I knew had tended much to remove 
scruples, and to satisfy tender minds. And although that 
Tract refers directly only to the Prayer Book, yet its 
principle readily extends itself to other parts of the Church 
system ; and among the rest to the Articles ; as also to 
the relations between our Church and the State : a fact 
which was brought before me by the phrases "ambiguous 
formularies," "inconsistent precedents," and "principles 
but partially developed." Thus I saw nothing in the sense 
of what was said, which had not been taught at large long 
ago, without a shadow of scandal, as far as appears : and in 
the metaphor of "stammering lips/' I seemed to see a 
beautiful and true adaptation of a most heavenly and con- 
descending image from Holy Writ^: " Whom shall He 
teach hiowledge? and whom shall He make to understand 
doctrine ? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn 
from the breasts. For precept must he upon precept^ precept 
upon precept^ line upon line, line upon line ; here a little and 
there a little. For with stammering lips and another tongue 
ioill He speak to this people : to whom He said, ' This is the 
rest whereioith ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the 
refreshing :'' yet they would not hear.'''' Is not the Prophet 
here telling us, how God in His great mercy feeds them 
with milk who have need of milk, though for the time they 
ought to be able to bear strong meat ? how He speaks to 
them, as nurses to children, vouchsafing to imitate their 
imperfect tones ? and why should it appear a thing offensive 
or incredible, that the dispensations of Providence with 
this Church should have proceeded by a similar rule ? Or 

'^ Isa. xxviii. 9 — 12. 

to the Thirty -nine Ariichs considered. 7 

why should any of lis take affront, at being advised to 
"refrain his soul and keep it low," in regard of this 
particular trial, the imperfections of the Church to which 
he belongs, as well as in the rest of his probation here ? 
Is not the contrary the very sentiment, the prevalence 
whereof we lament in the Roman Church, and blame her 
writers and authorities for encouraging it ? 

I write this without communication with Mr. Newman, 
and am far from supposing that I enter into the full 
meaning of his words ; but this is to my mind their obvious 
meaning: and until English Churchmen, generally, sym- 
pathize with him so far, I see no chance of our Church 
assuming her true position in Christendom, or of the 
mitigation of our present " unhappy divisions." 

For these reasons I wished the Tract published : nor 
did it occur to me that it was more likely to cause disgust, 
and excite animadversion and controversy, than former 
publications expressing the same views. I found hardly 
any thing in it, which had not been before avowed, and 
explained, and vindicated. Perhaps I did not sufficiently 
consider the difference involved in bringing the whole 
together, in a comparatively small compass, and in showing 
how it bore directly on an important practical question. 
But as to the doctrinal substance of the Tract, it seemed 
not unreasonable to hope that the same liberty would be 
allowed, as in other matters, at first sight at least equally 
serious. It is stating the case at the very lowest, to say, 
that the doctrines of Baptismal Regeneration, and of 
Apostolical Succession in the ministry, appear to be as 
expressly set forth in the Articles, and what is more, in the 
Liturgy, as the sufficiency of Scripture exclusive of tradition ; 
or as Justification by Faith exclusive of works in all senses; 
or as the condemnation of the notion of Purgatory in 
every sense in which it has ever been held. Now whether, 
for many years past, liberties have been taken with these 
doctrines, in the way not only of explanation, but of 
absolute denial ; whether the parties taking such liberties 

8 The Case of Catholic iSuhscrijjiion 

have been few, iminfluential, or unconnected with tlie 
University ; these are matters famiharly known to all men ; 
but we have not heard of the promulgation of any official 
reprimand on any such occasion. This is stated not as 
necessarily imputing any blame to the authors of the 
present censure : persons in high place must be allowed to 
judge for themselves, when it is their time to speak, and 
when to keep silence : but it may serve to account for our 
not anticipating such notice in the case of this Tract, more 
than on former occasions. 

And this brings me to the particular topic, on which I 
am anxious to address my brethren through you. The 
hope we had of being allowed to exercise our old freedom 
of interpretation on these subjects has been more or less 
disturbed by what has taken place. There appears to be 
some chance of an authoritative prohibition of the view, 
which not this Tract only, but a whole army of writers, 
new and old, recommend : and it becomes a serious question, 
what ought to be the line of conduct adopted in such case 
by persons holding that view, and concerned in any way 
with subscription to the Articles. 

It is a consoling, I trust we may say, a providential 
circumstance, that no authoritative censure has yet been 
passed. A resolution carried in the Board of Heads of 
Houses, I need hardly say, is not an act of the University : 
it is merely the opinion of the majority of individual 
members of the Board, happening to be present : worthy 
of nmch respect as an expression of opinion from persons 
in high place, but not laying any definite obligation on 
the conscience of those in inferior station : not what an 
episcopal sentence is to Churchmen within the diocese ; 
or an academical sentence, to members of the University. 
As yet (and we cannot be too thankful for it) we are under 
no authoritative censure : but what has occurred comes 
sufficiently near to that case, to make it matter of Christian 
prudence, that we should realize the possibility of it as well 

to the Thirit/-7iine Articles considered. 9 

as we can, and try to obtain sonae general view of what 
our position and duties would be, should it ever (which God 
forbid) occur to any of us. 

Suppose, e. p. that not the Heads of Houses, but the 
Academical Body in Convocation assembled, had determined 
tliat interpretations such as have been now (not for the first 
time) suggested, evade rather than explain the Articles, 
and are inconsistent with the duty of receiving and teaching 
them in good faith, to which the University, by express 
statute, binds her tutors and other members ; how would a 
college tutor (to take the simplest case first) have to act 
under such circumstances, supposing him convinced that 
the condemned view is the right one 1 would it not be plain 
breach of a human trust, if he used the authority committed 
to him for the purpose of teaching that view I and of a still 
higher trust, if, in compliance with the academical law, he 
forbore to inculcate it ? 

It is very desirable that the unavoidable extent of this 
difficulty should be thoroughly understood. There is such 
a thing, we all know, as stating a case of conscience nakedly 
and drily, in such a way that no one shall be able to say 
the statement is exactly untrue, yet the effect on the whole 
\\ ould be felt by every one to be unfairly exaggerated, the 
conclusion, if I may so speak, far too large for the premises. 
One would be very sorry to entangle any person in a 
scruple of that kind. But the ground of hesitation in the 
case imagined, would surely be very different. The words 
of the censure are very large : " interpretations, such as 
are suggested in the Tract," are condemned : of course, all 
such interpretations : of course, then, each particular definite 
one which is at all peculiar to the Tract, or those who are 
responsible for it. Now this is a very wfde field : not to 
speak at present of its being indefinitely enlarged by the 
word such ; which would impose on an instructor the task 
of considering, not merely whether a proposed explanation 
was contained in the obnoxious Tract, but whether it was 
of the same sort, and caste, and family. But to confine 
myself here to points actually stated in the Tract. Our 

10 The Case of Catholic Suhscription 

inquirer's perplexity would begin with the Sixth Article : 
he might have learned from some other quarter — from 
Field, perhaps, or Laud, or TertuUian', or St. Augustine'', 
that Scripture alone is not the Rule of Faith, and in what 
sense it is not so : but he would find the same mode 
suggested as in the Tract, of reconciling this opinion with 
the Article : therefore he must not adopt that mode. 
Well, suppose him to have found some other, quite free 
from the dreaded infection : he goes on to the next group 
of Articles (with a light or a heavy heart, as it may happen) ; 
and there he cannot evade the difficulty, before alluded to, 
about Justification by Faith only : but unless he could fall 
back on pure Lutheranism (which our hypothesis excludes), 
he will find it hard to give an interpretation which has not 
been more or less anticipated, either in the Tract or in 
the elaborate work of its writer on the same subject. 
Similar instances might be given in each following Article : 
but not to weary you, let him have arrived at that, which 
being specified in another document, may be thought to 
have been chiefly in the mind of the censors : the Twenty- 
second Article, on Purgatory, Pardons, &c. Here of 
course his first object would be to know what was meant 
by "the Romish Doctrine:"" and perhaps it might occur to 
him to look into the first draught of these Articles, set 
forth by Edward VI. in the year 1552, where he would 
find that the original phrase was "the doctrine of the 
school-men i" and he might conclude that he could hardly 
be wrong if he expounded the present Article to mean 
" the doctrine of the school-men, as it is developed in the 
. present practices and teaching of the Church : in papal 
bulls, indulgences, authorized service books, fraternities 
founded or warranted by authority to offer certain prayers, 
or the like." But here again he would find himself all 
wrong, for on looking into the Tract, he would meet with 
this sentence : " what is opposed is the received doctrine of 

' De Virg. Veland. 1. De Praescrjpt. Hseret. 13. 
* Eucliirid. c. 56. 

to the Thirty-nine Articles considered. 11 

the day, or the doctrine of the Boman schools^ This, as 
far as circumstances guide us. would seem to be the point 
which of all others has excited most displeasure, and there- 
fore it may seem that the censure refers to this suggestion 
particularly, as " evading rather than explaining the meaning 
of the Article." Against it, consequently, a tutor, desirous 
to act bona fide on the prohibition we have been supposing, 
would feel himself most especially set on his guard. What- 
ever he might do in any other Article, he could not, without 
breach of trust, adopt the suggestion of the Tract on this. 
Then the question would follow. What is Doctrina Ita- 
manensium, if school-men, papal decrees, and ordinary 
clerical teaching, together do not justify tliat description ? 
There might be some difficulty in replying to this ; I will 
not therefore dwell upon it. 

Perhaps now instances enough have been given to make 
it clear, that, had the censure unhappily been authoritative, 
it would have been no slight stumbling-block in the way of 
academical tutors, who might, on other grounds, think it 
their duty so to interpret ambiguous phrases in the Articles, 
as to bring them most nearly into conformity with the 
primitive Church, and to throw no unnecessary censure on 
other Churches. Such persons would have been met at 
every turn by the recorded sentence of the University 
against them : in them it would have been no contumacy, 
but plain conscientiousness, to withdraw from an engage- 
ment which they could not religiously fulfil. 

It may be said, they might do the work of tutors, might 
conduct a young man's general education, without directly 
applying themselves to the teaching of the Articles. That 
particular subject they might leave to others, who agreed 
more nearly in judgment with the general body. But, in 
the first place, this plan would hardly satisfy a mind 
disposed to great exactness in matters of trust ; since the 
University statutes make all tutors, and not here and there 
an occasional theological master, responsible for their 
pupils' understanding of and adherence to the Articles. 
Next, considerate Catholics know well, that there is, 

12 The Case of Catholic Subscription 

practically, no separating the high and comprehensive 
views which that name imports from any of the moral 
branches of education. Silence them as you may on 
directly theological questions, how are they to deal with 
ethics, or poetry, or history, so as not to guide their 
disciples by the light which the Church system reflects on 
all ? And there is yet a deeper consideration : they may 
perhaps think that College tuition is a branch of the 
Pastoral Care ; at least, if they be themselves ordained to 
serve at God's Altar : and then they will have no further 
alternative : they must either teach Catholicism, or not 
teach at all. 

To pass from the case of those engaged in tuition (which 
is also, mutatis mutandis^ the case of those who appoint 
the University tutors) : it would be matter of grave inquiry, 
whether any person, adhering to the Articles in the sense 
pointed out by the Tract, could with an unblemished 
conscience become a member of the University, or even, 
without dispensation, continue such. This doubt arises 
from the acknowledged rule of the best casuists *, that all 
oaths and covenants imposed by a superior, and especially 
subscriptions required to Articles of religion, are to be 
interpreted by the mind and purpose of the parties imposing, 
and in the sense which they intended. Waterland adds, 
in speaking of our Articles, the sense of the compilers also; 
but he presently modifies that part of his statement by 
subjoining ', " The sense of the compilers, barely considered, 
is not always to be observed ; but so far only as the natui'al 
and proper signification of words, or the intention of the 
imposers, binds it upon us. The sense of the compilers 
and imposers may generally be presumed the same ; and 
therefore I mention both, one giving light to the other." 
This mode of speaking plainly implies, that he did not 
consider the sense of the compilers as being obligatory in 

* Bp. Sanderson de Juramenti Obligatione, Prael. vii. § !> ; and as 
quoted by hhn, St. Aug. Epist. 125, 4 ; 126, 13. 

* Case of Arian Subscription, c. iii. Works, ii. 288. 

to the Thirty-nine Articles considered. 13 

itself, but only as being one of the most certain ways to 
ascertain, where otherwise doubtful, that of the imposers. 
That is to say, if there be no reason to the contrary, the 
natural meaning of the words, as at first drawn up, may be 
taken without hesitation as the meaning of the Church, or 
State, or University, calling on us to sign them. Still our 
oUigation so to take them arises from our relation to the 
imposers, not to the compilers : or, as Mr. Newman has 
more concisely worded it, " We have no duties toward 
their framers." This is evident, on considering, that if an 
Article were ambiguous, it is competent to the same 
authorities which imposed it, to add a new Article, making 
the point clear : and it is the same thing, if they choose 
rather to declare that such and such is the signification of 
the old Article. Thus, whatever might be the meaning of 
the divines of King Edward, who compiled, or of those of 
Queen Elizabeth, who revised our Articles, as to Predesti- 
nation and Election, and other kindred tenets, it was within 
the prerogative of the Church governors in King Charles 
the First's time to declare, that those Articles should not 
be interpreted by the rules of any modern schools, but by 
the literal and grammatical signification of the words. 

The plain and direct rule then is, that the Articles are 
to be subscribed to in the sense intended by those whose 
authority makes the subscription requisite. To prevent 
mistakes, though in a very plain matter, let it be here 
added, that by this expression, " the sense of the imposers,''^ 
we do not of course mean the particular interpretation 
which the Bishops and other authorities for the time being 
might happen to put upon the several ambiguous passages, 
as most probable in their own private opinion. This could 
never be thought of for a rule, being a matter impossible 
to be ascertained, and varying continually as Church offices 
drop and are filled up. " The sense of the imposers," can 
only mean, " the sense in which they intended to allow 
subscription :" plain and obvious, where the words of the 
formulary admit but of one interpretation : in other cases 
doubtful at first reading, yet capable of being fixed with any 

14 The Case of Catholic Subscription 

degree of certainty, by comparison of different passages ; 
by the declarations of the parties ; or, as in the case now 
supposed, by an authoritative rule of exposition superadded 
to the original formula. 

We obey, then, the sense of the imposers, not only when 
we happen to agree with them in each particular interpre- 
tation, but also when our disagreement, known or unknown, 
extends not beyond the limits which they in their discretion 
are willing to allow : when we make no " open questions '' 
beyond what they permit. Now, from the Reformation 
downwards, both English Churchmen in general, and 
academical men in particular, have had at least so much 
warrant as this for interpreting the Articles in the Catholic 
sense. And to prevent cavil, I will here explain what I 
understand by the Catholic sense. I understand the phrase 
to mean, " that sense which is most conformable to the 
ancient rule, Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus.'''' 
When a doubtful expression occurs in a formulary, it seems 
to me catholic to interpret it so as may best agree with the 
known judgment of the primitive, and as yet undivided. 
Church. Again, it seems catholic to interpret it so as to 
cast the least unnecessary ' censure on other portions of 
the existing Church : more especially where they form the 
great majority of Christendom : both because such would 
be the natural sentiment of a mind trained to think much 
of the supernatural fellowship of Christians one among 
another ; and because, argumentatively, quod ubique, and 
quod ab omnibus, are presumptions in favour of quod semper, 
until the contrary has been proved. These I take to be 
the grounds and principles of the mode of exposition, of 
late so severely censured : grounds and principles which 

' By "unnecessary," I mean here, "not required, humanly speak- 
ing, for the prevention of serious error in doctrine or practice." And 
as an example, I would instance the Articles never charging the 
Churches of Greece or Rome with idolatry ; as also their stigmatizing 
the tenets about purgatory, &c.,not as overthrowing the foundations of 
the faith, but as "a fond thing vainly invented, and not provcable 
from Scripture, but rather repugnant to it." 

to the Thirty-nine Articles considered. 15 

would not be shaken by proving here and there an error of 
application or detail ; though as yet I am not aware that 
any thing material, even of that kind, has been or can be 
substantiated, as against the statements of the Tract. 

May we not appeal without hesitation to the whole tenor 
of English Church history, for the fact, that this, — which 
I will venture to go on calling the Catholic acceptation of 
the Articles, — has been allowed by proper authorities in 
every generation ? although in equity the 07ius prolandi lies 
with those who would now put it down. They may be 
fairly challenged to name the time, when either the Bishops 
or the Universities of England have limited, as some 
would now limit, the sense in which the Articles are to be 
subscribed. But we have moreover this positive presumption 
in our favour, that the first imposers of the Articles, who 
were some of them * also among their original compilers, 
did in effect not only allow, but even enjoin and recommend 
the Catholic sense of them. It has been often repeated of 
late, but does not seem to have been sufficiently noticed, — 
I will therefore here set it down once more: — that the 
same convocation, in the same set of canons, which first 
required subscription to the Articles in 1571, enjoined also 
that preachers should " in the first place be careful never to 
teach any thing from the pulpit, to be religiously held and 
believed by the people, but what is agreeable to the doctrine 
of the Old and New Testament, and collected out of that 
very doctrine by the Catholic Fathers and ancient Bishops." 
It seems no violent inference, that the appointed measure 
of doctrine preached, was also intended to be the measure 
of doctrine delivered in the way of explanation of doubtful 
passages in formularies. The first generation, therefore, 
of subscribers to the Articles might well think they had 
something more than permission to interpret them on 
Catholic principles. What was to hinder the next from 
taking the benefit of the same canon; and the next to 
them, and so on, quite down to our time; unless some 

8 Bishops Home and Grindall. Sec Strypc, Cranni. b. ii. c. 27. 

16 Th6 Case of Catholic Subscription 

authoritative declaration to the contrary can be produced I 
But the only interferences by authority that I am aware of 
were the King's declaration before mentioned, the re enact- 
ment of subscription in 1662, and the directions of William 
in 1695, repeated by George I. at his accession. In the 
two first, the animus imponentis cannot be supposed less 
favourable to Catholic views, than that of the synod in 
Queen Elizabeth's time ; and the last relates exclusively to 
the fundamentals of the faith, as contained in the five first 

Nor can it be said that there was no interference, simply 
because the interpretation in question did not exist to be 
interfered with. Nobody can be ignorant that there has 
existed all along a school of divines who have been con- 
stantly employing it, on no mean points, but such as 
tradition, justification, the nature and authority of the 
Church, &c. : some of them confessedly among the greatest 
names in English theology. 

There was call enough for the iraposers of subscription to 
repudiate such "suggestions," had they been so disposed. 
But no such thing was ever done ; neither by the Church, 
nor (I speak under correction, not having documents at 
hand) by the University. May we not say then, with some 
confidence, that our case so far is complete? May we not 
hope that however the cause, which seems to us Catholic, 
may be damaged in other respects by the unworthiness of 
its defenders, at least it will not be allowed to suffer from 
this imputation on their sincerity, — that they maintain 
it contrary to the known tenor of their own solemn engage- 
ments ? 

But all this depends on the consent, implied or express, 
of the party imposing the subscription. Let that be once 
unequivocally withdrawn, and we should indeed be liable to 
the taunts and reproaches which now affect us so little, 
were we to go on subscribing by virtue of our Catholic 
interpretation. I would not willingly excite unnecessary 
scruples, nor cast a stumbling-block in the way of any 
man's conscience ; but is it not so, that had Convocation 

to the Thirty -nine Articles considered. 1 7 

ratified any thing equivalent to the recent vote of the Heads 
of Houses, not only tutors, holding the Catholic view of 
the Articles, must have resigned their offices to avoid 
breach of trust, but no academic whatever, of the like 
principles, could either subscribe afresh or continue his 
subscription? Obviously he could not subscribe, for he 
could not do so in any sense allowed by the imposers. 
IJut since most of those who subscribe the Articles in the 
Universities, are too young to have definite opinions on 
their meaning, the main import of their subscription being 
that they receive them on the authority of the present 
Church : this might be thought no very great evil in 
practice. Few, it may be thought, would be excluded by 
it; and those who did subscribe would have greater security 
(so this argument would suppose) for sound education. 
But what are those to do who have subscribed long ago in 
the Catholic sense, now (by hypothesis) forbidden? Can 
they honestly go on availing themselves of their former 
signature, now that the consideration is at an end which 
made that signature available? Can they with clear and 
untroubled consciences receive the emoluments of an aca- 
demical foundation, or exercise the privileges of a member 
of the academical senate, while deliberately breaking the 
condition on which only they were allowed to share in those 
advantages ? As long as they do so, they seem virtually to 
continue or renew their act of adhesion to the formula: 
and if there would be insincerity in that act, were it now to 
be performed for the first time, surely to go on reaping the 
benefit of it amounts to a constant repetition of the in- 

I am not prepared to say, that under such circumstances 
individuals might not honestly go on, having sufficient 
reason to know such was the wish of the imposing body in 
their own particular case : but if not sin, it would approach 
nearly to scandal, unless they could obtain a public dis- 
pensation, express or implied, to that effi'ct. But as to the 
general case, as far as I see my way in it, T own that I have 
no alternative : it would be equivalent to the University's 


18 The Case of Catholic Suhscription 

adopting a new test, which if you cannot take, you can but 
retire from the society. 

The general principles which regulate Academical sub- 
scription must of course be applicable to Clerical subscription 
likewise ; only that all cases of conscience assume a deeper 
and more awful interest, as they come nearer and nearer to 
the Most Holy Things ; and any sin or scandal which may 
be incurred will be, cmteris paribus, indefinitely greater. 
Nor am I unmindful, believe me, of the proportionably 
greater peril of unworthy tampering with this branch of the 
subject ; and it is partly from a feeling of that sort that I 
have preferred stating the general case, with an immediate 
view to the University, rather than to the Clergy. If, 
however, the determination of it above intimated is correct 
in substance, there can be no difficulty in applying it to this 
other and more serious relation. If a candidate for holy 
orders, or a clerk nominated to any dignity or cure, were 
distinctly warned, by the same authority which calls on 
him to subscribe the Articles, that the Catholic mode of 
interpreting them would be considered as "evading their 
sense,*" and "defeating their object;"" the act of signature 
would evidently amount to a pledge on his part against that 
mode of interpretation. If, in virtue of a preceding sig- 
nature, he were already exercising his ministry, his going 
on, without protest, to do so, after such warning, would 
virtually come to the same thing : it would be equivalent, 
as I said before, to a continued signature ; unless indeed 
he could obtain from the imposers express or implied 
dispensation for his own case, which would remove the sin, 
and, if made public, would remove the scandal also. 

But Clerical Subscription difters from Academical in this 
important respect : that it is not quite so easy to determine 
who are the real imposers of it, and what kind of declaration 
on their part is to be regarded as authoritative. Thus far, 
however, all Catholics will be agreed : that a synodical 
determination of the Bishops of the Church of England, 
with or without the superadded warrant of the State (on 

to the Thirty-nine Articles considered, 19 

whose prerogative in such causes I would refrain from here 
expressing any opinion), would be endued with unquestion- 
able authority. And it may seem at first sight as if nothing 
less could be so ; as if the supposed limitation of meaning 
could only be enacted by another synod of London : just as 
in the University it would require an act of the Senatus 
Academicus. But would it not be dangerous, under present 
circumstances, to press this rule very rigidly ? — to insist on 
the literal meaning of the phrase, animus impo7ientis, so as 
to demand that the party modifying, should be formally as 
well as substantially identical with the party enacting ? 
Would it not be taking unfair advantage of the unhappy 
condition of our Church, and of the real or supposed inabihty 
even of her Prelates to legislate for her, independently of 
those who happen to be ministers of State for the time? 
It certainly seems as if, to a person really reverencing the 
Bishops as the Apostles"* successors, there might be decla- 
rations of opinion not synodical, which would oblige him 
morally if not legally : as for example, if all our prelates 
should severally declare, ex Cathedra, their adhesion to the 
view which has just been expressed at Oxford ; or if not 
all, yet such a majority, as to leave no reasonable doubt 
what the decision of a synod would be. In such case, 
would it not be incumbent on those who abide by the 
Catholic exposition, yet wished to retain their ministry, to 
protest in some such way, as that the very silence of our 
Bishops permitting them to go on, would amount to a 
virtual dispensation as regarded them ? More especially if 
the Bishop under whom we ourselves minister, did in any 
manner lay on us his commands to the same effect, (as a 
' public, official declaration of his opinion would amount to a 
virtual command, and ought, I imagine, to be obeyed as 
such:) these are considerations which would make our 
position a very delicate one indeed. 

First, the old sacred maxim, He that heareth you heareth 
Me^ or, as the Church afterwards expressed it, Ecclesia in 
Einscopo^ could not but weigh heavily on a consistent 
Churchman's mind : receiving as it does in our days (if 

B 2 

£0 The Case of Catholic Subscription 

possible) additional point and force from the fact, that our 
own Bishop's personal direction is almost the only mode 
left, by which we may ascertain the mind of the Church on 
any doubtful matter of practice '. 

Next, let it be well weighed how much the Oath of 
Canonical Obedience imports. No pledge can be more 
solemn or direct, than that under which we stand bound 
" reverently to obey our Ordinary, and other chief ministers, 
unto whom is committed the charge and government over 
us ; following with a glad mind and will their godly ad- 
monitions, and submitting ourselves to their godl^ judgments.'''' 
This latter clause appears to refer, more especially, to 
doctrinal decisions : and if to any, surely most especially to 
their explanation of the terms of the engagement, to which 
they themselves admitted us : as the Church's agents, it is 
true, and not in any wise by their own independent autho- 
rity ; yet as deliberative, responsible, highly trusted agents, 
endowed severally with powers of more than human origin, 
to enforce their "godly judgments.''' So that it would be 
a very strong step indeed, and one hardly conceivable, but 
in a case where the very foundation of the faith was unequi- 
vocally assailed, for a Catholic Priest to go on ministering, 
when he knew that he was violating the conditions on which 
his Bishop would allow him to minister. It would be far 
different from insubordinate conduct here and there, in 
points of detail : rather his whole clerical life would be one 
continued act of disobedience. Who could endui'e such a 
burthen ? What labour could prosper, what blessing be 
looked for, under it ? 

It is very possible that I may overlook something which 
materially affects this question, and which may be plain 

' By God's good Providence this statement, in its fulness, is now 
(1865) no longer applicable to our position, and apparently becoming 
less so year by year, as the idea of Synodical action with appellate 
authority is gradually reviving among ourselves, and in Christendom 
generally. And the perplexities and alarms to which these pages 
address themselves are in the like proportion vanishing away. 

to the Thirty -nine Articles considered. 21 

enough to other persons ; but it does seem to me that in 
the case supposed (of a pubHc censure, and dispensation 
refused), loyalty to the Church, her Creed or her Order 
both, could only be maintained by one of the two following 
courses : either we should continue in our ministry, respect- 
fully stating our case, and making appeal to the Metropo- 
htan, or as Archbishop Cranmer did, to the Synod, and 
that publicly — which course one should be slow to adopt, 
except in a matter which concerned the very principles of 
Faith and of Church Communion ; — or else we should 
tender to our superiors our relinquishment of the post 
which we held under them in the Church, and retire either 
into some other diocese, or, if all our Bishops were agreed, 
into lay communion. The objections in point of scandal to 
these two courses would be, that the former might sound 
under present circumstances more as a way of talking than 
any thing else : the latter, unless the case were very amply 
and openly explained, would appear as if one conceded the 
notion of the Articles being incapable of a Catholic sense. 
But explanations might be given. And it seems on the 
whole that with the exception of such extreme cases as I 
just now put, of positive heresy in one of the Most Sacred 
Order, this resource of lay communion, painful and trying 
as it must be in most cases, both in a temporal and spiritual 
sense, would be the only one properly open to us. Farther 
than it we could not even appear to separate from that 
which we believe to be the manifestation of the Holy 
CathoHc Church in our country. We might be excom- 
municated, but we could neither join ourselves to any of 
the uncatholic communities around us, nor form a new 
communion for ourselves. We could not be driven into 
schism against our will. We could only wait patiently at 
the Church door, wishing and praying that our bonds might 
be taken off, and pleading our cause as we best might from 
reason and Scripture and Church precedents. So little 
ground is there for the surmise, that advocating the Catholic 
sense of the Articles is symptomatic of a tendency to depart 
from the English Church. 

22 The Case of Catholic Subscription 

So far, my dear Friend, you will perceive that I have 
been addressing myself to those chiefly, who concur with 
me in their view of the principle on which the Articles 
should be expounded. May I, in conclusion, mention a 
few topics, which I would fain suggest for the consideration 
of persons demurring to that principle, either its truth or 
its expediency, yet unprepared to adopt, at all hazards, 
extreme measures towards the maintainers of it ? The 
objects of such a censure as that which occasioned these 
remarks could not indeed consistently deviate into schism : 
but it cannot be denied, that should it be unhappily adopted 
by Church authority, now or at any future time, very evil 
consequences of that kind may be anticipated with regard 
to others. The whole position of our English Church, in 
her great controversy with Rome, will be altered. She 
will no longer be able to take her stand, in questions of 
Church practice or interpretation of Scripture, upon the 
old Catholic fathers and ancient doctors. To what her 
appeal must be made, is not so clear ; but as often as she 
tries to fall back on antiquity and Church consent, Romanists 
will have to say, " Nay, you have explicitly condemned sug- 
gestions of that kind in the exposition of your Articles ; 
you cannot now be allowed, as in former days, to avail 
yourselves of them." Hitherto, in all essential points, the 
followers of antiquity among us have challenged the Roman 
Catholics to prove our formularies wrong : it has been con- 
stantly said, " Rome must move towards us in the first 
instance, if ever a re-union is to take place." But now it 
will be quite obvious, that we too shall have to retrace our 
steps. We shall have wantonly sacrificed so much of the 
holy ground, which, by an especial Providence, we have 
hitherto occupied. As we have in former days surren- 
dered to them the name Catholic, so we should now, by a 
kind of fatality, be conceding the thing itself, and that at 
the very point of time when people gradually are beginning 
to be aware of its importance. There is no need to enlarge 
on the scandal which this would cause to our English 
Romanists, encouraging them to continue in their schism ; 

to the Thirty-nine Articles considered. 23 

and to Roman Catholics abroad, causing them to think and 
speak more harshly than ever of our branch of the Church : 
nor is there occasion to add any thing to the important and 
unanswerable statements of Mr. Newman, concerning the 
almost certain effect on many of our own communion, whose 
Catholic feelings are stronger than their principles are clear 
and consistent ; who are of themselves sufficiently inclined 
to be jealous of the signification of our formularies, from 
circumstances unhappily connected with their origin and 
history ; and who may seem to be wanting only such an 
impulse, as a false step on the part of our Church would 
give them, to go sheer over the precipice, and pledge them- 
selves to the infallibility of Rome. But may it not be well 
to give a thought also to another sort of scandal — the 
encouragement which would be given to the latitudinarian 
and dissenter, who will sneeringly congratulate our Church 
on having at last found out her own inconsistency, and 
abandoned the untenable position for which she has so long 
been contending ? Will it be pleasant or profitable to have 
the good faith of former ages, the theological honesty of 
such as Andrewes and Laud, of Hammond and Bull, vir- 
tually impugned by the confession of their own branch of 
the Church ? Will it not tend fearfully to the promotion 
of scepticism, and of a worldly contemptuous tone on all 
such subjects? 

Again, it should not be left out of sight, that the course 
which I am now deprecating, tending to displace, on reli- 
gious scruples, a certain number of clergymen or academical 
men, tends, consequently, to perplex and discourage a certain 
number of quiet, tiioughtful people, under their charge, or 
otherwise aware of the circumstances. Of course, this incon- 
venience must be faced, rather than bear with false doctrine 
or immoral practice : yet it is a serious thing to multiply 
cases of conscience, and disseminate popular alarms, without 
some great necessity ; and those who think the interpreta- 
tion objected to rather imprudently stated than untrue in 
itself, will perhaps feel themselves bound, according to their 
opportunities, to check the same kind of imprudence, should 

24 The Case of Catholic Subscription 

it appear on the opposite side, the more earnestly from 
their sympathizing with such simple people as I am now 
alluding to. 

Further, we may be tolerably sure that the half-schis- 
matical effect of such a censure will not pass away with this 
year nor with the next, nor with the lives of those who have 
to inflict or endure it. There will always be, in all pro- 
bability, a certain number of educated persons, who will be 
led to take the view now objected to of the Articles of the 
English Church, and will be unable to sign them in any 
other sense. They will be restrained, at most, to Lay 
Communion, and their energies will be so much lost to the 
ministry. And it will be much if in the course of years 
human infirmity do not cause some of them to lapse into 
absolute schism. At any rate there will be a constant 
though an involuntary thorn in our Church''s side : in one 
respect more so even than the Nonjurors ; at least so far 
as the point which gave name to their party went ; for they 
naturally ceased as a sect or school, when the claims of the 
exiled family vanished away. But the interpretation which 
causes this difference, is such as cannot well cease to exist, 
while men have eyes to read the Fathers and to compare them 
with the Articles, and hearts to feel the duty of Catholicity. 

The last evil that I shall now specify, as likely to ensue 
from any hasty step of the kind on the part of those in 
authority, is the necessity which it seems to involve of 
something more definite, to follow on the Protestant side 
of the controversy. (I use the word Protestant in its 
historical sense, that sense by which it is best known 
throughout Christendom, as denoting a certain school of 
positive opinions : not in its strict etymological sense, as 
simply meaning those who protest against certain errors of 
the Church of Rome.) For example : the censure, sup- 
posing it authoritative, declares it an evasipn of the sense 
of our Church on Purgatory, to say that "the Romish 
doctrine" means the doctrine of the Schools as popularly 
taught in that communion : will it not be expected, by and 
by, that the same authority should declare what is the 

to the Thirty-nine Articles considered. 25 

intended measure of Romish doctrine ? May we not expect 
efforts to establish, as a dictum of our Church, the too 
popular notion, that wilful deadly sin after Baptism, truly 
repented of, is as if it had never been ; so that a life- 
long contrition is not needed, to make the man's final hope 
assured and certain I Again, the censure seems to repudiate 
Catholic consent as a part of the Rule of Faith : shall we 
have no endeavours, by and by, to assert in direct terms 
the right of private judgment in its place 1 The same kind 
of questions might be asked with reference to the other 
disputed points ; nor would it be hard to imagine two or 
three different schools of Theology, which would earnestly 
contend with each other for the right of determining them, 
each encouraged by the success they had had in common in 
first setting out. There is here abundant promise of future 
controversy ; considering that the object of the censure 
was the peace of the Church. 

But we may be allowed to hope better things : and, 
indeed, whilst I am writing, I am informed that the respected 
authors of this severe but no doubt conscientious sentence, 
have given, or are giving currency to a statement, that they 
did not intend it as an expression of theological opinion, 
but rather, if I rightly understand what I hear, as a caution 
against an immoral unfairness of interpretation, which they 
feared might find unintentional encouragement in the manner 
of reasoning adopted in the Tract which they were noticing. 
You and others will judge whether any thing has been said 
incidentally, in the course of this letter, to obviate any such 
suspicion, by explaining that the principle of the Tract was 
that which the first imposers of subscription expressly 
recommended, and which their successors in every genera- 
tion have constantly allowed : viz. to interpret all doubtful 
places, as nearly as possible, by the rule of Catholic consent. 
You will also judge whether I have at all succeeded in the 
more direct object of what has been said : in pointing out, 
namely, the course which persons interpreting our formu- 
laries on the .ibovc-mentioned Catholic principle must adopt, 
in the event of an authoritative condemnation of that prin- 

26 The Case of Catholic Subscription, ^c. 

ciple : you will judge whether the principle itself, or the 
condemnation of it, is more to bo apprehended, as tending 
cither to schism, or to scandal in other ways. And what- 
ever your sentence may be on these points, you will, I am 
sure, rejoice with me, that through the moderation of 
various parties, the discussion, at first so painful, appears 
likely to be concluded with no loss to truth, and (may I not 
add ?) with some gain to charity (for I reckon as nothing 
what may have been said in angry newspapers, or in mere 
political declamation) : and that we have heard so little, 
during its progress, of that most uncatholic sentiment, too 
often lightly uttered in such debates, " If a man cannot 
sign, let him go : we can do without him : if he does not 
like our Church, let him go to another:" as if there were 
any other to which he could go. The prevalence or abate- 
ment of this sort of language and feeling, is perhaps one of 
the surest indices of the decay or growth of the temper of 
Catholicity among us. May we hear and practise less and 
less of it, and more of the tone and mind of that good 
]3ishop of our Church, who living in uncatholic times, yet 
made it part of his daily evening prayer, that God would 
" vouchsafe unto him an interest in the prayers of His holy 
Church THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, which had that day been 
offered to the Throne of Grace." 

Believe me, my dear Friend, 

Yery affectionately yours, 

J. Keble. 
Hursley, April 2, 1841. 



77 i